Berkeley, Calif. (April 11, 2013) — A public forum featuring scientists and experts on water, energy and climate will be held on April 15 to discuss the latest climate science on impacts to the San Joaquin Valley, and how local officials and businesses can prepare for changes to water availability, drought and flooding, impacts to crops, and more frequent extreme heat days.
The “Climate Preparedness in the Valley” forum will take place at California State University, Fresno. It is presented by the Union of Concerned Scientists in partnership with Fresno State’s College of Science and Mathematics and the League of Women Voters of Fresno.
“The challenges posed by rapidly changing weather patterns are daunting, but can be met with solid planning and preparation informed by scientific evidence,” said Adrienne Alvord, California and Western States director.
A panel discussion will include the following experts:
- Adrienne Alvord, UCS Director, California and Western States — Moderator
- Roger C. Bales, Ph.D., Director of Sierra Nevada Research Institute and professor in the School of Engineering at the University of California, Merced
- Dan Keppen, Executive Director of Family Farm Alliance
- Joseph W. Oldham, Sustainability Manager, Sustainable Fresno Division, Planning and Development, City of Fresno
- Peter Van de Water, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at California State University, Fresno
The forum will build on the latest reports from the 2012 California Climate Change Assessment. The research demonstrates that earlier snowmelt, changes in rainfall patterns, and more intense heat waves will have a disproportionate impact on agriculture because of its dependence on sufficient water resources and predictable weather conditions. The reports noted that smaller farmers in particular, and those with less diverse crops and livestock and limited resources to invest in adaptive technologies, will be most vulnerable to climate change in the future.
“Public awareness is the first step to confronting the realities of climate change,” Alvord said. “Enhancing the resilience of the San Joaquin Valley is critical to the economic future of Fresno County and the rest of the nation.”
The forum will take place on Monday, April 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Alice Peters Auditorium of the University Business Center, 5245 N. Backer Ave. on the Fresno State campus. To register, please go to: www.ucsusa.org/fresno