California’s Fires And Drought Are A Preview Of Future, When Simultaneous Disasters May Become Commonplace

While wealthy nations will be burdened with the costs of such disasters, poorer nations will experience great loss of life from them, the authors say.
Meanwhile, California’s poor air quality is drawing attention to the lasting negative health toll it can take.
This chilling prospect is described in a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a respected academic journal, that shows the effects of climate change across a broad spectrum of problems, including heat waves, wildfires, sea level rise, hurricanes, flooding, drought and shortages of clean water.
(Schwartz, 11/19) Fire crews are still working to contain the deadly inferno that leveled the town of Paradise, virtually wiping it off the map.
Thousands of people are homeless, living in tents, trailers and parking lots.
Scientists say as temperatures continue to warm, drying out brush, grasses and trees into explosively flammable fuel by late summer and autumn, catastrophic fires and the unhealthy smoke they spew hundreds of miles away will almost certainly become more frequent in California and across the West in the coming years.
(Rogers, 11/19) People could add years to their lives in California and other smog-plagued parts of the world if authorities could reduce particulate pollution — soot from cars and industry — to levels recommended by the World Health Organization, a new study reported Monday.
Fresno residents would live a year longer if the region could meet the health organization’s recommended levels of exposure, according to Monday’s study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.
They are not the first to show a link between exposure to pollutants during pregnancy and the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.
But both studies look at large populations and find a link with relatively low levels of pollutants.

Learn More