A deep-wet gray Wednesday morning here on California’s north coast as a semi-normal weather pattern has returned, though, a bit warmer than usual.
The NWS calls it ‘dense fog,’ and that pretty-much nails it, as outside earlier was the ‘densest‘ I’ve seen so far this year, at least around where my little homestead (apartment) is located, and people leaving for work had those headlights a-shining well into the morning.
Although the outside looks thick and gray right now, another slide on the natural scale is the famous California fog, down south and up here along the Redwood coast — a diminishing return.
From KPCC last July, and a talk with Travis O’Brien, a research scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab at UC Berkeley. Bottomline — fog is fading:
But, O’Brien notes, the Pacific Ocean is getting warmer.
And as the ocean warms up, the moisture in the fog warms up too and it evaporates.
Research shows that fog in Northern California has decreased over the last hundred years by about a third.
O’Brien says, if that continues, “We could expect to see a roughly fog-free San Francisco by the end of this century.”
That could mean the end of those postcard-perfect images of the Golden Gate Bridge hidden in the mist.
And while mornings in Berkeley could get a little sunnier, the effects could go beyond the Bay Area.
“There’s definitely a ‘it could be nicer weather in my backyard because of climate change,’ sort of side to this,’” O’Brien said, “but the other part of our backyard up here is the redwood forests.”
He says less moisture in the air could be a big problem for California’s coastal Redwoods.
“Something like a third of their water comes from fog water. And that comes during the driest time of year. It’s not clear whether they’ll be able to survive that.”
Another dense brick in the wall…a climate-change variable without the shift.