23 Jul 2013

The RSA's first North American conference is scheduled to take place at the University of California Los Angeles in December, but based on research from the UCLA Climate Sensitivity Research Lounge it may turn out to be a hot Christmas! Well maybe not this year, but the research highlights the impacts of climate change on weather temperatures between 2041 and 2060 on Los Angeles and the results are disturbing.

The research highlights business-as-usual and mitigation approaches, yet the first disturbing finding is that 70% of the business-as-usual temperature increase is unavoidable regardless of what mitigation efforts are made between now and 2041.

As well the number of hot days (temperatures greater than 95 degrees Fahrenheit / 35 degrees Celsius) will increase dramatically from approximately 60 to approximately 100 a year. Some places in LA will be harder hit than others as well, such as Downtown LA and Sunland. 

With climate change also comes the risk of more wildfires as high temperatures and low humidity interact with the Santa Ana winds to more rapidly spread fires.

Taken together it is rather depressing news, but there is some hope as adaptation and mitigation can work to dampen the impact of climate change on the city region. To see the full research presentation by Professor Alex Hall click here.