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Study Predicts Wetter Winters And Climate “Whiplash” In California’s Future

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Kerry Klein
/
KVPR
In early 2017, Lost Lake Park north of Fresno was closed to the public after heavy winter rains overtook picnic tables and parking lots.

The winter of 2016 to 2017 was extreme. Not only did it put an end to an extended drought in most of California, it delivered far more rain than average, and even set some rainfall records.

The state experienced a different kind of extreme in 1862, when the state was pounded by storm after storm over a short period of time, which caused what some called megafloods—the likes of which we haven’t seen since.

A new paper published in the research journal Nature Climate Change explores how much more likely events like these could become in California’s future. Listen to the audio for an interview with UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain, the study’s lead author.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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