California or Bust, No More?

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C. Kroll, Staff Writer

Living in California used to be the height of convenience, sunlight, and scenic surroundings. The research triangle is home to residents from many different states and countries, many of whom have relocated there from Silicon Valley in search of a higher standard of living and a more sane work life balance. My family was one of those families, and like many others at our school, there are people who know or have lived in California and the Bay Area. This weather is having an impact on a lot of individuals.  It has gotten to the point where buildings are damaged and at least 19 people are dead.  

Where does all the rain that is falling come from? An air river swept over California. Atmospheric rivers are rivers in the sky. They release a large amount of water at once, generating floods and the potential for mudslides and erosion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that the river’s capacity might be up to 15 times greater than that of the Mississippi river.

According to researchers, climate change will impact atmospheric rivers, making them longer and broader so they can transport more water. Because of the increased evaporation brought on by the warmer air due to climate change, there will be a greater number of storms. The droughts and dryness weaken the earth and the land and the massive storms increase natural disasters like wildfires, uprooted trees, and weakened soil.

Explainer: What are atmospheric rivers and bomb cyclones? explains the atmospheric river and rain have helped fill reservoirs in California previously emptied out prolonged droughts, but the amount of water is greater than what the earth can absorb. Creek beds that were once dry have now overflowed and are causing damage.

There are so many questions we should ask ourselves:

Will the drought crisis worsen or is the environment attempting to repair itself? Will more people move to North Carolina (or RTP) given the low cost of living, the abundance of technological employment, and the current weather? Will North Carolina experience the same atmospheric floods and coastline or other natural disasters, such as more tornadoes?