Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series
presented by AltaSea and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Friday, May 8, 2015
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

California Drought: Are We In or Out?
By Dr. Bill Patzert, Climatologist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"California's history is written in great droughts," Patzert says. As of November 2014, the ongoing California drought has turned more serious. Entering our 4th year of below-normal rainfall and snowpack, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades. Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californians to voluntarily reduce water. Mandatory rationing could be ordered soon so that homes, businesses and farms donít run dry. Wildfire danger is unusually high. How did we get into this drought?

In part, blame it on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or "PDO," a slowly oscillating pattern of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. At the moment, the PDO might be 'flipping' out of its dry phase ó a condition historically linked to extreme high-pressure ridges that block West Coast storms and give the Midwest and East Coast punishing winters. Did the much advertised El Nino give us drought relief? How does drought impact the Southern California coastal marine environment? To find out how this story developed this winter, what happened to this drought and how we deal with future droughts, attend his talk!

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