There is a place - wild swings

As the world warms, scientists say wild swings between two opposing weather conditions are indicative of a climate phenomenon variously known as weather whiplash or climate whiplash. In California this phenomenon currently causes sudden changes from periods of prolonged drought to shorter periods of heavy precipitation. These occurrences add another threat to climate related changes already affecting people and the natural world. This project follows extreme weather events such as drought and wildfires, dust storms, atmospheric river storms, ensuing flooding and landslides, and varying vegetation growth with a focus on Los Angeles County. The city has already gone through many years of prolonged drought conditions with an increase of devastating wildfires since 2017. In 2022 shortages of our water supply required the city to once again enforce rationing and restrictions on our usage. Then, in December 2022, an extraordinary number of atmospheric rivers moved across the state. Wildfires, heavy rains and mudslides, widespread flooding, and even extreme snow conditions have threatened and destroyed numerous homes in communities, caused the loss of lives, and destroyed abundant wildlife habitats. On the upside, record rainfall means the end of many drought restrictions and has a transforming effect on California’s water supply. However, despite a surface water surplus, groundwater supplies in the aquifers remain depleted. For Southern California an explosion of vegetation growth is accompanied by a particularly beautiful spectacle of a super bloom in spring. Though once dry conditions return, the combustible mix of fuels is setting a dangerous stage for the next fire season. Predictions are that the frequency of these events will only rise if greenhouse gasses continue to increase and further weather whiplash events occur.

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