New studies: Global warming will hurt California more than previously thought

Global warming is likely to take a greater toll on California than previously believed unless strong measures are taken to combat it, a state panel was told Wednesday.

The potential impacts, according to new scientific studies, include major property damage along the coast from rising sea levels, worsening drought, widespread crop damage, increasing wildfires and a diminished Sierra Nevada snowpack. The gloomy scenarios were presented to the Climate Action Team, a group of state officials established to monitor global warming and help the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

"These reports confirm that the consequences of climate change will be in the billions of dollars, and it will cost significantly less to combat climate change than it does to maintain a business-as-usual approach," said Linda Adams, the California Environmental Protection Agency secretary, who chaired the meeting.

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