precipitation whiplash and climate change threaten california’s freshwater

Headline |

Daniel Swain in Bay Nature: How to Start Adapting to California’s “Precipitation Whiplash”

In a 2014 paper in the journal Nature Climate Change, climate scientist Daniel Swain concluded that California could expect increases in the frequency of wet and dry extremes, with both continuing to grow more intense with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global warming. Swain labeled this phenomenon “precipitation whiplash.” A warming climate in part explains both: a warmer atmosphere holds more water, leading to more intense precipitation, but also increases drought risk.