What is it about?

In recent decades, climate change has become a matter of concern. Its effects on the planet are becoming worse over time. Erratic shifts in temperature and weather patterns have become a major challenge for people to deal with. Authorities and governments should keep these changes front of mind and consider them when planning for the management of future resources. One such resource is water. Its reservoirs are heavily impacted by the effects of climate change. Water distribution models have to account for sudden shifts in rainfall and temperature. Doing that would help estimate their vulnerability in the face of climate change. Keeping this in mind, the authors of this paper developed local rainfall and temperature projections for California. They wanted to predict the maximum and minimum amount of rainfall the areas in the state would get. The researchers determined the weather predictions for two possible futures. One was where California became wetter with moderate heat. Another was where the state got drier due to extreme heat. They found that areas with a lot of rainfall would experience a significant rise in rainfall. This change was less significant in areas with moderate amounts of rainfall. The estimated range of rainfall was the broadest in southern California. These projections could serve as a guide for water resource planners in the future.

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Why is it important?

We need to plan for the future amid the uncertainty of climate change. This requires reliable predictions of temperature and rainfall in a given area at a given time. Some models give a broader picture of the weather shifts that may be steered by climate change. But they cannot provide local level climate change predictions or an insight into the risk these changes can pose to ground level infrastructure. As a result, climate prediction models need to expand their scope. KEY TAKEAWAY: This study can help water resource planners in California understand a range of climate change scenarios that they might face in the near future.

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This page is a summary of: Establishing a Range of Extreme Precipitation Estimates in California for Planning in the Face of Climate Change, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, September 2021, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), DOI: 10.1061/(asce)wr.1943-5452.0001410.
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