South Coast Scientist Joins International Study On How Climate Change Impacts Northern Cities

Oct 19, 2017

A South Coast scientist was among an international group of researchers who studied the dangers climate change poses on northern cities. 

Most climate change research focuses on southern cities and how the warming of the climate can cause such things as heat waves. So, instead, UC Santa Barbara geography associate professor Joe McFadden collaborated with scientists around the globe to look at northern cities.

He says he found that global warming causes increased water runoff because the higher temperatures lead to more rain and snow melting faster.

“In extreme years, very heavy snowfall or if you have a very short winter or a very rapid melt or you have a big rainfall that comes just at the end of winter. In those cases, the more built up area your city has compared to vegetative area, the more risk there would be that that would actually result in flooding within the city,” he said.

McFadden says cities would have to prepare their infrastructure so it can handle the larger amount of runoff.