If this historic, three-year drought in California has you loathing the end of the world and wondering whether not to even have children, don't sweat it. We're safe for the next 85 years.
The nerds at the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences have conducted what they're calling the “most advanced climate study to date on rain and snowfall in Southern California” and conclude that local rainfall throughout the life of the 21st century will reflect the last few decades of the 20th century.
In other words, despite our drought, despite global warming, and despite the drenching we're expected to get tonight, things will remain fairly normal.
The report, 21st-Century Precipitation Changes over the Los Angeles Region, is being published today in the Journal of Climate.
Lead scientist Alex Hall and his team used “global climate models” to project weather trends for the periods 2041 to 2060 and 2081 to 2100, according to UCLA. They compared what they found to the climate from 1981 to 2000.
Even when the scientists calculated that global warming would continue unabated, they found that “the scale of the potential changes is small,” according to the university.
In fact, in some models there was a slight increase in rainfall for the century. In others, the decrease was small, UCLA said.
L.A. is a place of natural weather variation because we exist between dry and wet climates, Hall said. That dichotomy will continue and produce similar results, drought or no drought, throughout the century, he said:
Will there be rain in LA’s future? Unquestionably yes. These two influences have been in a tug-of-war for millennia, and our analysis suggests this pattern will continue.
Bill Steele, Southern California area manager of the Bureau of Reclamation, says this study will help officials plan to better “protect the people of Los Angeles from flooding.”
And here we were thinking we'd all be dried up and extinct by the time 2100 rolled around.