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Study: Southern California Could See Record Temperatures

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Southern California is heating up and could see a record number of scorching days by mid-century, according to a UCLA study released Thursday.

According to the study, which forecasts weather patterns from 2041 to 2060, the number of days with temperatures above 95 will triple in downtown Los Angeles each year by the middle of the century, quadruple in parts of the San Fernando Valley and jump five-fold in a portion of the high desert in Los Angeles County.

“Every season of the year in every part of the county will be warmer,” Alex Hall, the lead researcher on the study, said. “This study lays a foundation for the region to confront climate change. Now that we have real numbers, we can talk about adaptation.”

The study, titled “Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region,” raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of the city’s water supplies, which are replenished by snow and water captured by local mountain chains.

Research on the effects of climate change on precipitation and groundwater will be released in the fall.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the forecasts provide the groundwork for local governments, utilities, hospitals and other institutions to prepare for the hot spells to come.

The mayor touted the city’s green-building standards, tree-planting program and increase of green and open space, which he said will also help the city adapt to climate change.

Villaraigosa instructed relevant city departments to prepare vulnerability and risk assessments based on the UCLA data.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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