Monica Woods joined ABC10 in April 2001 as weekend meteorologist. In June 2011, she became ABC10’s Chief Meteorologist.
I was in the middle of putting together a half-hour drought special when the World Meteorological Organization asked me to make a Sacramento 2050 forecast ahead of the Paris climate talks slated for early December. I thought this 2050 forecast would be a great way to end the special. Want to know where we are headed folks? Here’s a look.
Reporting on the historic drought in California and living the drought in California are two entirely different perspectives. Wildfires, nonexistent snowpack and dwindling water supplies are all impacts of this drought that have very real consequences for people living here. They also provided some insights about what climate change in California looks like that I could use in my 2050 forecast.
The challenge in presenting the 2050 forecast was finding those key areas that are clearly projected to change and really make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to take the projections and put them into tangible situations such as catastrophic wildfires and forests covered in trees stricken by bark beetle outbreaks.
My co-worker, Rob Carlmark, did an excellent job showing how sea-level rise would change the shape of the California Delta and how challenges would be met on what land is lost to water and what land is saved with pumping stations.
I suspected viewers would call and email about our presentation. They did. I suspected they would accuse us of pushing an agenda. They did. I saved one submission because I think it illustrates the type of push-back we receive when we talk about climate change on-air (all sic in the original).
"If News 10 Keeps broadcasting make believe things like this under the banner of news I will no longer watch news 10 because it no longer is news. You can barely forecast next week and you trying to tell us what it will be like in 30-50 years. This is the type of garbage I expect to see on the joke of a network like MSNBC.
I have watched news 10 for thirty years and this type of garbage will sure enough drive me away.
I expect news facts not made up data to push a agenda. I truly hope news 10 can get back on track!!!”
I have no idea if this viewer is still watching our station or not. We also received many words of thanks from viewers for digging deeper into how we got here and where we may be headed. What that tells me is that the 2050 forecast started a conversation. Avoiding it would mean that we learn nothing.
You can check out some more of our coverage of California’s drought and the impacts it's having below.