People with umbrella at Hollywood sign during storm

Pierce on Climate Change, Drought and L.A.’s Epic Storm

London’s Guardian newspaper carried news of blizzard conditions that sparked wonder and delight among Southern Californians unaccustomed to winter weather — along with vast power outages, closed highways and other hazards. Greg Pierce, co-director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, put the extreme weather event in context, noting that more research is required to determine the role of the climate crisis in setting the stage for the storm. California’s wet winter has created a robust snowpack and higher reservoir levels that will relieve some drought pressures, but “we can’t let up,” Pierce said. “This storm is helping us stay ahead of pace — way ahead of pace than in recent years — but I still think we really need to see more,” he said. “We were in a really extreme place and this [storm] just gets us back to buying a little more time as we make other major investments and continue to harden conservation.”


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