The Effects of Climate Change on California Tourism

by Owen Dubeck

The chapter “Tourism and Recreation,” from Climate Change in California, explains the economic impact climate change will have on California tourism. The $96 Billion industry is divided into three parts, beaches, winter recreation, and outdoor recreation. While all three sectors will see economic losses from climate change, the article also discusses the less talked-about advantages. With rapidly melting glaciers causing rising sea levels, California’s coastlines are susceptible to the largest economic consequences. Scientists predict that rising water levels will reduce beach widths in Southern California by 62 feet. Smaller beaches mean lower attendance, which will hurt local economies. Temporary efforts to cover up the consequences of climate change include moving in more sand via dump trucks. Rising sea levels will cause Huntington Beach to invest $16 million in beach nourishment. However, this sea level rise would not affect Laguna Beach adversely. Instead, they would actually save money. Continue reading

Changes in Measuring Air Quality in California

by Emily Segal

Particulate Matter (PM) is an air pollutant that when large enough can be seen as soot or smoke, and when small enough, can only be observed using an electron microscope. Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) are especially dangerous because they can be inhaled into the respiratory system and can lodge in the lungs. Scientists have been studying the quantity of particulate matter in the air for a while, but between 1988 and 2013, the system for monitoring this air pollutant underwent many changes. Essentially, the old way of measuring PM2.5, through traditional filter sampling, was replaced by the more effective method of using Beta Attenuation Monitors (BAM). It is important to have a monitoring network that operates frequently and in many areas because this data can then be compared to data from various hospitals in order to draw conclusions about the connections between PM2.5 concentrations and health consequences. Additionally, the real-time nature of BAM can help make short-term forecasts for air qualities in different regions. This was not possible previously because traditional filter sampling had many delays caused by transporting, conditioning, and weighting filters before any conclusions about the actual PM2.5 measurement could be made. Continue reading