According to the California Department of Water Resources, climate change is already having an impact on California's water resources and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Existing climate change models predict that warmer temperatures, changing patterns of precipitation and run-off and rising sea levels will profoundly affect the Delta ecosystem and ecology.
Study: Climate Change and San Francisco Estuary-Watershed Strategies of adaptation to climate change will require quantitative projections of how altered regional patterns of temperature, precipitation and sea level could cascade to provoke local impacts such as modified water supplies, increasing risks of coastal flooding, and growing challenges to sustainability of native species. (Sept. 2011)
Ocean Food Chain Rebounds - Rings Dinner Bell for West Coast Salmon
After three lean years the ocean off California's coast is suddenly rich in nutrients and food. The lack of a sufficient food supply has been widely cited by scientists as the leading cause of decline of salmon populations in California and all along the West Coast. Articles in San Francisco Chronicle (Sept. 9, 2008) (Aug. 18, 2008)
National Climate Study Suggests Dams Could Benefit Salmon Runs In California
California's vast network of reservoirs - long blamed for fishery habitat destruction - could turn out to be a savior for species on the brink of collapse, according to a leading climate study. The dams store cold water which the study says will be vital to the salmon's survival as climate change is expected to warm California's rivers. The important findings come from the highly acclaimed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Climate Change. Article in the International Herald Tribune (May 1, 2008)
Scientist Blame Weather Changes for Salmon Collapse
Scientist examining the sudden and widespread collapse of West Coast salmon returns are pointing to the unusual changes in weather patterns that caused the bottom to fall out of the ocean food web in 2005. Article in Alaska Journal (Mar. 9, 2008)