Lawrence Bender, producer of "An Inconvenient Truth," and "Pulp Fiction," among many other movies, recently joined HuffPost Live with UCLA climate scientist Alex Hall and urban sustainability researcher Jon Christensen to discuss new research that shows how climate change will affect different parts of Los Angeles at the neighborhood scale.
Until now, city planners, advisors, leaders and residents have been unable to properly estimate and prepare for anticipated changes in the climate. In response, researchers at UCLA down-scaled over 20 global climate models to better understand the local impacts of a changing climate.
"Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region" is the first study to provide regional climate change predictions for the greater Los Angeles area, with unique predictions down to the neighborhood level.
"For many people, climate change still feels too abstract and faraway," says Alex Hall. "This makes it more real. It's eye-opening to see how much it will warm where you live."
In Los Angeles, coastal cities are expected to get three to four degrees warmer on average by mid-century, but inland areas such as downtown, the San Fernando Valley, and Pasadena will get even warmer, and desert cities, such as Palm Springs will get even warmer, and experience dramatically more extremely hot days.
The full study can be seen at "C-Change LA."
Much of this warming will be experienced even if global carbon emissions are significantly reduced immediately, Hall says. But if carbon emissions are not reduced significantly in the years to come, the effects of global warming will increase dramatically in the second half of this century. That means we have to adapt to climate change and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. "Armed with this information I'm very optimistic that we can confront and adapt to a changing climate," says Hall.
Fortunately, Christensen adds, some of the best things that we can do to adapt to climate change -- making cool, green roofs on buildings; planting trees for shade; establishing cooling centers for extremely hot days at public pools and libraries; using public transportation; reducing energy and water use -- can help reduce carbon emissions as well. "We can reduce our carbon emissions, adapt to climate change, and make our cities more livable, more enjoyable, and more beautiful at the same time," says Christensen, a journalist-in-residence and senior researcher at the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA.
Lawrence Bender, who is a member of the advisory board of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, told HuffPost Live that it is "time to double down" on confronting climate change.