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L.A. Braces for Hellish Heat Waves While World Leaders Diddle

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page, Organic Transitions page, and our California News page.

Two summers ago, the National Weather Service's thermometer in downtown Los Angeles cracked 113 degrees F for the first time ever. Then it broke, leaving weather geeks to wonder if the city's record high was actually even hotter than their tools were able to handle.

Better fix the thermometer, L.A. There's more record heat on the way. A new study conducted by researchers at UCLA finds that climate change will drive up average temperatures in the City of Angels by an average of 4 to 5 degrees F by midcentury. And that's just an average - some days, global warming will no doubt push the mercury even higher.

Another new report, from the National Research Council, predicts that sea level will rise up to a foot along the California coast in 20 years, and could top 5 feet by the end of the century. Again, these are averages. When the big storms roll in, folks in Malibu can kiss their beachfront mansions goodbye.

Los Angeles is one of many cities around the country that have been moving aggressively to reduce their contributions to climate change. Since his election in 2005, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has instated a massive climate action plan, retrofitting street lights with energy-efficient LEDs, enacting some of the nation's strictest green building standards, and starting work on an ambitious mass transit expansion in a city that is famously enamored of the automobile.


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