SACRAMENTO, CA - The world is getting hotter, drier and at greater risk of catastrophic fires, according to a new climate change report put out by two state agencies.
The Natural Resources Agency and the California Energy Commission claim the data in their reports warns that California can expect more scorching heat waves, severe and damaging wildfires, and strain on the electric grid in the coming years.
They claim the statewide average temperature has increased by about 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit from 1895 to 2011. By 2050, the report claims the temperatures will rise another 2.7 degrees. That extra heat will cause water levels to rise, cause the state's snowpack's, which are vital to the state's water supply, to start to melt.
The temps also could mean more energy and electric needs, as more Californians reach for their air conditioners in the summer, spring and fall season. These are all factors the California Energy Commission and the Natural Resources Agency said the state needs to take into consideration as it tackles budget priorities, aging infrastructure and growing populations.
"The challenges are enormous, but certainly this state has the capability to rise to these challenges and with these types of studies we are going to be prepared," California Energy Commission Chair Bob Weisenmiller said.
Yet, there are scientists who dispute CEC's and Natural Resources Agency claims. Their research suggests the changing temperatures are part of the earth's natural cycle and have little to nothing to do with human activity.