The Impact of Climate Change on Mediterranean-type climate ecosystems
Three recent studies have indicated that much of the area currently occupied by chaparral in southern California will no longer be suitable for that plant community as a result of climate change.
1. "At current rates of emissions, about 45-56 percent of all the natural vegetation in the state is at risk, or from 61,190 to 75,866 square miles," said lead author James Thorne, a research scientist with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis. "If we reduce the rate to Paris accord targets, those numbers are lowered to between 21 and 28 percent of the lands at climatic risk." To read more, please see the 2018 research summary here. You can also download the full paper.
3. "One consequence of climate disturbance in California will be a shift of biodiversity to the north (Loarie et al. 2008). Scientists from the US Geological Survey developed the Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) to assess the physical vulnerability of the California coast. They found that from San Luis Obispo to the Mexico border, communities along this coastline have “high” or “very high” vulnerability to climate change (McGinnis et al. 2009; National Park Service 2004; Stein et al. 2000)." - Dr. Michael McGinnis: READ MORE.
Under a future high emissions/hot and dry climate scenario for the time period 2070 - 2099, much of the area currently occupied by chaparral will no longer be suitable for that plant community (shown in red). The likely replacement will be highly flammable, non-native weeds. From Thorne et al. 2016. Click image to download the full paper.
The July 3, 2018 wave of heat that slammed the planet. This simulation of maximum temperatures on July 3 is from the American (GFS) weather model at two meters above the ground (University of Maine Climate Reanalyzer).
It's getting hotter every year
All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the week of July 5, 2018.
"From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week.
Please stop contributing to climate change by grinding up chaparral and clearing habitat in the name of fire protection. Instead, use the best available science to focus on what matters most - reducing fire risk within communities themselves.
Photo below: Giant masticators grinding up the chaparral on the Los Padres National Forest