Author: Aaron

Climate Change Will Most Impact Communities

Climate Change Will Most Impact Communities

Major flood would hit Los Angeles Black communities disproportionately hard, study finds

By Steve LeBlanc

12:49 PM, March 4, 2019

5:48 AM: The devastating firestorm that has been raging at the Bali Hai in eastern Los Angeles County — destroying homes, burning cars and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate — is the latest to be caused by climate change, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study, done by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), found that the effects of climate change will be most noticeable in the most vulnerable communities — those with limited or no capacity to evacuate, and those that are most densely populated. “One of the things we didn’t anticipate, when we did this study, was that the most damaging effects were going to be most evident in communities that have fewer of the factors that can mitigate and adapt to a disaster,” said study co-author Matthew Jones, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. “The communities that are really vulnerable to climate change are those that have the least capacity for response and adaptation. Some of them are very far away. Others are very close to home. We were surprised by this.” The study took climate scientists by surprise. While they had studied other areas where they found that the effects of climate change would most affect communities, a few years ago their work on the Bali Hai focused on communities on the West Coast. When they got the idea to look at the impacts of climate change on communities in California, Jones and his team looked at how California’s coastal cities were dealing with these very issues, which they hoped would help them understand the broader issue. Using the historical record of flooding and wildfires in California and a computer model, Jones and his collaborators compared the damage from the flooding and wildfires of a century ago to that of current conditions. The study found that California’s coastal cities — including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego — will be the most severely affected by climate change. “Many studies have looked at the vulnerabilities to disasters in the U.S. because there is an ongoing discussion about how to address those vulnerability issues,”

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