The California coast probably will never see a storm as violent as the one that pounded the East Coast, but the future for Westerners will be rife with environmental problems caused by global warming, including torrential rain, flooding, fire and drought, climate experts say.
The issue of human-caused climate change leaped to the fore this week when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged people to take action against a phenomenon he contends was behind the disastrous effects of superstorm Sandy, which caused dozens of deaths and widespread destruction.
The capricious climate is fixing to make trouble here too, experts say, particularly along the waterfront. Scientific forecasts show that water levels in San Francisco Bay could rise 16 inches or more by 2050, inundating shoreline habitat and infrastructure.