Outdoors Digest

Posted: Sunday, September 17, 2006

UN officials praise California bill to curb greenhouse gas emissions

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's recent passage of a bill to curb emissions of carbon dioxide drew praise from the head of the United Nations' climate change assessment panel, who said the move will have great influence.

The three-day conference brought together leading experts on climate change from around California and beyond. Taken together, the presentations painted a picture of a state whose landscape is already changing and is likely to change much more in the future as the world continues to heat up.

The ranges of many plants and animals will likely shift northward or into higher elevations, possibly resulting in the extinction of alpine species and other species not able to migrate fast enough. Some of these changes are already happening as discovered by scientists comparing records of trees and wildlife from early in the last century with what they see today.

Heat waves may become more common and heat-related deaths could rise significantly.

Mosquitoes could thrive in warmer temperatures, bringing an increase in West Nile virus to the state.

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