California is already dealing with the effects of climate change, but scientists and policy experts are discussing how to better manage and adapt to those effects during the California Climate Change Symposium in Sacramento.
Managing the state's water resources is a top concern. Scientists released a study last week that found climate change is intensifying the drought in California. Peter Gleick with the Pacific Institute says the state should prepare for more hydrological extremes, both drought and flooding. He says the drought is bringing unexpected consequences to California’s climate picture.
“California’s greenhouse gas emissions are about eight percent higher from the electricity sector than they would otherwise have been because of the drought,” says Gleick.
The state is using more natural gas because there is not enough water for hydropower.
Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission, says warmer temperatures and less snowfall will change the state’s electricity sector.
“We no longer have the convenience of storing water in the mountains until we need it most for the power system," says Weisenmiller.
The California Climate Change symposium is sponsored by state agencies and the International Panel on Climate Change.