As we speak, Earth’s atmosphere is entering its warmest record-breaking era in 15 years. In March, California’s relentless drought of the past several years finally began to alleviate itself. In the next few months, air quality in the Bay Area has likely reached its cleanest levels in at least two decades, thanks to the rainy winter.
And across the Golden State, families continue to cash in on new renewable energy projects like large-scale solar farms, wind farms and geothermal plants. Indeed, California continues to leapfrog the rest of the country in just about every way, as our TV station’s partners at the Climate Watch Network have shown.
And yet, how long can we stand by and watch our environment deteriorate, and live for how our children and grandchildren grow up?
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is the world’s largest, and it is on its way to being demolished. Its collapse during a rare winter storm in February 2017 shook the entire region, and highlighted the safety risk posed by a warmer climate.
When temperatures go up, rainfall patterns change, and winds drop. Winter storms now hit the west coast more frequently, causing longer, wetter drought, and shorter, drier summer storms. The weather patterns create a combination of salinity in the bay and vast areas of open ocean. This leads to droughts that cause the sea level to rise by as much as 15 to 30 centimeters each year, while submerging and interfering with local parks and agricultural land that are essential to our coastal communities.
How climate change will affect San Francisco San Francisco is facing significant challenges due to a growing population and an increasing influence of climate change. With local officials unable to stop the future, we need to take steps in the present to ensure the city’s infrastructure is resilient and to save the environment. Here’s what to know. Read More
According to an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency, sea level rise of 3.0 to 6.0 inches by 2100 will have a significant impact on the state of California and San Francisco. Given the stability of the Golden Gate Bridge, about 70 percent of the properties along its waterfront could be inundated by sea level rise in only 75 years.
An update to what the Bay Area Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Environmental Protection found in a March report at the end of 2018, and which we first reported on last September, is even worse. “By the end of the century, about a third of all basins along the bay’s coastal region could be inundated,” the report concludes. “The estuary can expect to experience a 30 to 70 percent increase in salinity and 50 to 100 percent increase in sea level rise relative to the mean.”
Altering the landscape of the Bay Area, both for reasons of aesthetic beauty and for water resources and a changing climate, will mean more people will move into the coastal regions where they will dwell. To that end, the many projects being proposed and floated around San Francisco, from large solar farms to solar rooftop gardens to a sea wall, aim to keep future influxes of residents and tourists off our scarce natural resources.