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Factors Influencing The Climate Change in California

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Air pollution is a dangerous amount of particles and gases released into the atmosphere. You can classify this into two categories, primary and secondary pollutants. Primary pollutants are any pollutants emitted directly from their source into the atmosphere. These can be from natural occurring places like volcanoes and forest fires, to man-made sources like coal plants, natural gas plants and general transportation. Secondary pollutants are ones that are not emitted directly from their source to become harmful but rather, develop in the atmosphere after release. Examples of this are Smog and Ozone. Photochemical smog forms from a chemical reaction of No2 and other hydrocarbons react to combine in sunlight creating a dirty haze, generally over cities as this is where their pollutant source originates. Yes it can. When there is a temperature inversion, warmer air can become trapped due to warmer air being already above lower elevation.

Air pollution generated at lower elevation can become trapped. When Smog becomes trapped under a certain layer it can heat up that area beyond normal temperature when it normally might not become that hot. They are very different. Water is different in that it has a higher capacity to absorb incoming heat. It also distributes the heat it takes in through a complex system. With the same amount of radiation, Land will heat up much faster. This is also partly due to the reflective ability of water and land. Land is much less reflective and therefore absorbs more where water will reflect more, decreasing the possible radiation to heat it. Coastal Areas of California are able to benefit from a coastal breeze formed by heat differential between the coast and the actual ocean. The cool air will rush in as the warm air ascends into the atmosphere from land. Inland California does not really benefit from this and therefore is generally hotter.

Latitude affects climate. Two ways it does this are the amount of sunlight different latitudes receive and prevailing winds change at different latitudes. The sunlight distribution changes in that, because of the Earth’s tilt; the equatorial region receives the most sunlight of anywhere on earth. Because of this, the higher or lower you go in latitude away from the equator, the less sunlight and therefore, colder on average the area will be. In the case of the prevailing winds, the Westerlies and trade winds can determine the moisture, temperature and rainfall a particular landmass receives. It can be the difference between a mountainside being affected by the rain shadow affect or not. Tule fog is formed by air cooling close to the earth’s surface during winter. It reduces the airs ability to hold moisture in and causes water vapor to condense causing the fog. Summertime fog forms from the Ocean cooling down the air above it. Because the air is cooler, it can’t hold moisture as well as warmer air and so it condenses into summertime fog. Orographic Lifting is the process of air being forced to a higher elevation such as hills or mountains. The air has to cool as it rises in elevation and as it does cools down forming clouds and sometimes precipitation. This often causes air to deposit most all of its moisture on the wayward or upwind side of a mountain.

The other side, or leeward side, receives little precipitation because of this and is often very dry. It can be evidenced by the Sierra Nevada and Death Valley to a tee. The weather of California varies greatly. It can range from arid to very humid. This weather can be influenced by wind patterns. Winds such as the Santa Ana winds, affect southern California. It does this from high pressure systems near the great basin and sierras. It relocates desert winds southwest and is warmed and compressed as it travels from mountains to flatter ground. These winds are very dry and greatly affect the humidity of southern California during the fall. Onshore winds affect California weather. This is wind that forms over water due to air pressure differential. It can cause cloud formation and thunderstorms under right conditions. Blocking highs can occur when high pressure areas become slow moving. They can reach a point where become basically stationary and they prevent other pressure systems from moving in. This can affect California often during the spring. Another factor in California weather is the Hawaiian High. It is a subtropical anticyclone that causes California’s dry summer’s and wet winters. California’s renowned weather is attributed partly to this.

Another pressure system that influences California is the Aleutian low. This drives low-pressure systems in the northern hemisphere but is yearly replaced by the North Pacific high during the summer. However it generally creates its own low pressure systems and storms. Three approaches to flood control for Central California are as follows: Damming, Floodplain creation and Levees. Damming allows one to have a reserve of space for floodwater to fill in, preventing downstream flooding. However damming has various impacts one of such is erosion caused by less sediment being deposited. Without this normal sediment, banks and channels of rivers erode, destroying habitats and killing vegetation.

Floodplains are useful to maintain a reserve of groundwater for future use and for maintain diverse ecosystems as well as providing a place for floodwaters to go. Levees are useful in sealing off areas of land so that they are not exposed to a body of water. It allows fertile soil to be protected. However they have impacts of their own. Levees can cause alluvial soil to accumulate on the riverbed. With this, the water level can rise and threaten surrounding communities with one massive flood. Three methods to increase water supply include: Dams/reservoirs, groundwater extraction, desalinization water brought in from the coast. Damming any rivers can help store runoff water for a later date, possibly drought time. This has many of the same impacts as listed before, it can affect ecosystems and a break in the dam could be disastrous. Groundwater extraction allows a new source of uncontaminated freshwater. An impact that can arise from this however can be over extraction and aquifer depletion. Because it takes so long for underground aquifers to replenish, it is unlikely the water would be extracted at an appropriate rate.

The final method of desalinization and transport inland has merit in that it has a near limitless supply of water to convert but it is energy intensive and expensive to operate. It can also harm local water ecosystems in that the water released can be too saline, increase turbidity and limit the amount of mixing occurring at various layers of the water.

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Factors Influencing the Climate Change in California. (2020, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from
“Factors Influencing the Climate Change in California.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2020,
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