Politics & Government

Gov. Schwarzenegger, Google unveil climate risk report

In 2100, Fisherman's Wharf would become Fisherman's Bay, the baseball diamond at AT&T Park would flood and two major Bay Area airports would better serve seaplanes under a climate change model unveiled Wednesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Google.

The governor released a new report determining that global warming, left unabated, would lead to higher sea levels, greater wildfire risks and less water supply over the next century, based on research compiled by the California Energy Commission.

Schwarzenegger also convened a panel of 23 experts from various sectors to review the 200-page report and draft final policy recommendations for the governor and Legislature by July.

The governor and legislative Democrats in 2006 approved a new law requiring California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. But the governor said Wednesday that "we must also be prepared if climate change continues to worsen."

The California Energy Commission spent $150,000 in partnership with Google to develop a new Google Earth application that shows sea level changes in the Bay Area, as well as increased wildfire risks and snowpack reductions throughout the state. The energy commission also maintains a climate change research unit on which it spent $2.4 million in 2007.

Schwarzenegger called the latest efforts a "Plan B" in case global warming continues. He said the state faces as much as $2.5 trillion in costs related to risks from climate change.

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