California Drought And Its Effects On The Air Quality

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Zara Beadle METR 113 16 December 2015 California Drought The California drought has been extremely harmful to the states’ air quality. Since 2012, California has seen the worst drought conditions in 1,200 years and it is severely affecting air quality (California’s drought, 2015). As of 2015, the cities of Hanford, Merced, Modesto, Fresno, Yuba City, Lancaster-Palmdale, Chico, Sacramento, and Bakersfield have been experiencing exceptional drought coverage (Pestano, 2015). California has a Mediterranean climate, which is a concentrated rainy period several months of the year and warm to hot temperatures the remaining of the year. For the past four years, California’s rainfall has been below average, which causes PM2.5 levels to go up. PM2.5, or fine particles, can be solid or liquid droplets that pollute the air and affects people’s health. The dry conditions cause dust particles to spread in the air, which are harmful to human health. The lack of rainfall decreases the amount of precipitation and allows fine particles to pollute the air. The drought increases the likelihood for wildfires, which release harmful smoke into the air. The California drought produces many harmful substances, which affect air quality and harm human health. The California drought was caused by both anthropogenic and natural sources. In a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, scientists discovered that human-caused climate change is responsible for 8 to 27 percent of the drought
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