The state of California is famous for its wineries, endowed with an agriculture-based economy, and is a favorite tourist destination. It has dry summers and wet winters but, in recent times, the erratic pattern of weather has become a matter of concern. Some portions of the state face drought and wildfires while others are devastated by floods. These could be attributed to the vagaries of nature, but the root cause must be identified and action taken to reverse the trend.

CNN reports that a study in the journal Nature Climate Change has predicted that situations of this nature are becoming regular features in the state and the trend will continue unless efforts are taken to rein in the manmade climate change.

There must be awareness

Weather extremes, from drought to floods, have a major impact on society because adapting to such changes will, assuredly, disturb normal lives. According to Daniel Swain, lead author of the study, climate change plays havoc with normal practices. California had constructed huge reservoirs to store water when it faced drought from 2010 to 2016. However, these storage facilities became liabilities during the floods, in late 2016 and 2017, which led to the Oroville Dam disaster that forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

The study predicts that the frequency of extremely wet years will be increasing. The authorities need to draw up contingency plans in advance on how best to tackle the after-effects.

These effects will likely be in the form of damages to the infrastructure due to frequent mudslides as well as loss of lives and property.

Dry conditions mean fire

The study also observed that the extremely dry weather in California, resulting from climate change, could create drought. Researchers feel that this phenomenon is likely to show an upward trend in days to come and give rise to conditions favorable for wildfires.

Once that happens, the greenery will be destroyed, the ecological balance will go for a toss and the flora and fauna will take a beating.

When it starts to rain, there will be mudslides that will submerge the surrounding localities and lead to loss of lives and property. It will take time to recover from such devastation. This can happen when extremely wet seasons follow exceedingly dry ones.

Last year Montecito was a victim. Heavy rainfall led to excessive mudslides in the areas that had already been destroyed by wildfires and 20 people died.

The United States has not agreed to the 2015 accord on climate change, but the global community feels that the time has come to do away with fossil fuels. These create greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, and people must opt for alternatives like electricity or solar power to save the Earth.