Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today used the occasion of the annual Tahoe Summit to launch a new website, Climate Change: Just The Facts, that documents the dangerous effects of global warming and calls on those who still deny its existence to “wake up and honestly face the facts.”
“Global warming’s impact on Lake Tahoe is well documented. It is just
one example of how, after decades of pumping greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere, humanity is getting dangerously close to the point of no
return,” said Governor Brown. “Those who still deny global warming’s
existence should wake up and honestly face the facts.”
The impacts of climate change are clear and global.
• America is seeing dramatic increases in food prices as a direct result
of the worst drought in a half century. According to the National
Center for Atmospheric Research, the percentage of the Earth's surface
suffering drought has more than doubled since the 1970s.
• Last year, Arctic sea ice was at the lowest level ever recorded.
Satellite images show that Arctic summer sea ice has decreased nearly
nine percent per decade since 1979.
• Last week a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences showed that events like the Russian heat wave of 2010 and
the European heat wave of 2003 would likely not have happened without
global warming caused by greenhouse gases.
Global warming’s impact on Lake Tahoe is well documented.
• In 2010, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed that
over the last 25 years, the world's largest lakes, including Lake
Tahoe, have been steadily warming, some by as much as four degrees
Fahrenheit. This is seven times faster than air temperatures have risen
over the same period in some cases.
• That same year, researchers at UC Davis studied the impacts of climate
change on the Lake Tahoe basin and concluded that there will be a
continuing shift from snowfall to rain, earlier snowmelt and more
runoff; an increase in drought severity, especially toward the end of
the century; and a dramatic increase in flood magnitude in the middle
third of the century.
• In 2008, a UC Davis study predicted that climate change will
irreversibly alter water circulation in Lake Tahoe, radically changing
the conditions for plants and fish in the lake.
• In 2005, researchers found that Lake Tahoe is warming at almost twice
the rate of the world’s oceans because of global climate change.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary there are still
recalcitrant skeptics who ignore the findings of climate scientists and
assert that global warming is not a problem.
The Climate Change: Just The Facts website debunks the claims of deniers
and documents the serious impact of climate change on California – its
economy, environment and public health. The site details:
• How rising global temperatures have far-reaching consequences for
Californians, including sea level rise, more frequent and hotter heat
waves, a declining water supply and large, intense wildfires.
• How every major scientific organization in the United States with
relevant expertise has confirmed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change’s finding that there is a 90 percent probability human activities
are causing global warming.
• California’s groundbreaking efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and prepare for the unavoidable effects of global warming which are now
Governor Brown has pressed for increasing investment in renewable
energy, efficiency and reduced dependency on fossil fuels. Last year, he
signed legislation to increase California’s use of renewable energy to
33 percent by 2020.