The UCLA Luskin Center and Environmental Defense Fund have just released a new report looking at Los Angeles's opportunities for using more solar power (which are still 98 percent untapped, they say) and it includes these fascinating maps of which areas of LA County are most vulnerable to global warming. According to the report, it's the "first study to provide specific climate-change projections for the greater Los Angeles area [in the years 2041 to 2060], with unique projections down to the neighborhood level." By mid-century, SoCal can look forward to "slightly warmer winters and springs but much warmer summers and falls, with more frequent heat waves," but the burden won't be spread around evenly: "The study predicts a likely tripling in the number of extremely hot days in the downtown area and quadrupling the number in the valleys and at high elevations." But of course higher temps aren't the only threat.
For these regional vulnerability maps, researchers factored in flood and wildfire risk, sea-level rise, land cover (like trees), transportation access (both public and private, including car ownership), old people living alone, and "air conditioning ownership." (Who knows?) The results are not as bad as you might think (unless you live along the coast), and the report does offer solutions (focusing on heavier solar power use), so it's not purely doom-and-gloom.
· Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER) [UCLA] · Just How Screwed Is LA's Coast When Sea Levels Rise Two Feet? [Curbed LA] · UCLA Working On A Plan For "Thriving" In The Hotter LA Of 2050 [Curbed LA]