Climate Change is Causing San Francisco to Lose its Fog

by , 02/16/10

san francisco, sf, fog, redwoods, sequioa, sempervirens, climate change, global warming

Residents of San Francisco’s oceanside neighborhoods may complain about it, but the city’s legendary fog does more than just provide character — it also protects nearby redwood forests. Now researchers from the University of California, Berkeley are claiming that the fog has lessened by 33% over the past 100 years, and climate change may be the culprit.

redwoods, sf, fog, san francisco

According to the researchers, the fog is decreasing because of a reduction in the temperature difference between the sea and the land. A cool coast and warm interior is a signature characteristic of the local climate.

Weather records show that the number of hours of fog has dropped by about three hours per day since 1901, and if the trend continues it could be catastrophic for coastal redwoods (sequoia sempervirens). That’s because the fog prevents water loss during the summer. The change in fog might not kill mature redwoods, but it will stop new trees from thriving.

So if the threat of rising seas and erratic weather hasn’t been enough to convince you to take action against climate change, maybe the loss of some of the most striking trees in the world will.

+ UC Berkeley

Via UK Telegraph

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  1. Montara House Maximizes... September 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    […] The foggy Northern California coastline can sometimes put a damper on your spirit, but given the a chance to inhabit a house like the Montara House, you’d be sure to find a pick-me-up no matter what the weather conditions. Located on the coast just south of San Francisco on a steep sloped site, the concrete home maximizes natural daylight inside the home and provides a comfortable and warm environment to escape the fog. And though designed by San Francisco-based Anderson Anderson Architecture, the resident family were actually the builders of this eco-home, which includes an impressive pv and solar water heating system. […]

  2. jeanX February 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    sf coastline is less b/c it’s a small city.Most of it doesn’t reach more than 3 stories.
    I think the climate change here is result of smog, blowing over from China.

  3. keithm February 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hmm, but hasn’t the bay area also undergone a massive urbanization in the last 100 years? Urban Heat Island effect is a known causal event that results in increased temperatures in urban areas with a change in the energy to heat profile of the land (i.e. when heat gets absorbed and released during the daily cycle). It’s so dramatic that those doing climatic models need to factor it out of temperature readings in urban areas or they get a false global warming signal..

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