Will climate change make California’s droughts worse? A mountain lake offers clues

September 15, 2016
UCLA professor Glen MacDonald and his research team examine a sediment sample from a marsh in Arcata, Calif., during an unrelated study.
UCLA professor Glen MacDonald and his research team examine a sediment sample from a marsh in Arcata, Calif., during an unrelated study.
John Vande Wege / UCLA

A recent Los Angeles Times article cites research by UCLA professors Glen MacDonald (Geography, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and IoES) and Alex Hall (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) in its discussion about California’s impending response to climate change. According to a study authored by MacDonald, changes in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean are difficult to predict and “we simply cannot take off the table the possibility that the eastern Pacific will cool,” causing “La Nina-like conditions exacerbating aridity in California.” A study co-authored by Hall in 2014 suggests that overall rainfall amounts in Southern California will remain stable in decades to come.

Read more at Los Angeles Times

Additional coverage on the study:

Climate change could extend California’s drought Los Angeles Daily News, 22 Sep 2016

Think California’s current drought is bad? Past incarnations have lasted hundreds of years The Washington Post, 19 Sep 2016

‘The New Normal’: California’s severe drought could last indefinitely, new study says KTLA-TV, 15 Sep 2016

Pacific Ocean’s response to greenhouse gases could extend California drought for centuries UCLA Newsroom, 15 Sep 2016

Global warming could make the drought last for a century, says UCLA study L.A. Daily News, 15 Sep 2016

Pacific Ocean’s response to greenhouse gases could extend California drought for centuries Phys.org, 15 Sep 2016

Prolonged California aridity linked to climate warming and Pacific sea surface temperature Nature, 23 Aug 2016