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In California, climate change will transform the land, lifestyles

California, USA
A possible peek into California's future by the end of the century, if not sooner. "Where celebrities, surfers and wannabes once mingled on the sands of Malibu’s world-famous beaches, there are now only sea walls defending fading mansions from the ever-encroaching Pacific. Abandoned ski lifts from Lake Tahoe to the fire-ravaged mountains of Southern California dangle above lonely trails that are now more suitable for mountain biking during much of the winter. The Joshua trees that once extended their tangled arms into the desert sky by the thousands have all but disappeared. And in Northern California, tourists must drive farther north or to the cool edge of the Pacific to find what is left of the region’s signature wine country." Many of the scientific predictions are gloomy. Some already are coming true. Among the earliest and most noticeable casualties is expected to be California’s ski season. The ski season here has begun to shrivel, whether from short-term drought or long-term changes. The snowline, as it is in many other alpine regions around the world, is receding. Scientists already are considering relocating Joshua Tree seedlings to areas where the trees might survive climate change. “They could be wiped out of California depending on how quickly the change happens.” “I suspect as things get warmer, we’ll start seeing sequoias just die on their feet where their foliage turns brown.”

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