Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Heat, drought, floods, bad air: Will California’s Central Valley survive climate change?
Home to more than 4 million people, the vast San Joaquin Valley lies flat and low between the Sierra Nevada and the Southern Coast Range and has long been prone to climate hazards. Lately, however, they seem to be converging at a breakneck pace. The floods arrived following three years of severe drought, while extreme heat, lung-searing smog and hazardous wildfire smoke have become all-too-common occurrences. Meanwhile, the very earth beneath their feet is sinking. … Dramatic land use changes, a dearth of resources and state support, and a recalcitrant political climate fueled by agriculture and fossil fuel drilling have all contributed to the region’s challenges. How it adapts could be a case study for the rest of the nation.