Forecast calls for more hot Julys, rises in sea level

By Lynne Friedmann

At the end of a July that broke heat records across the country, a new report released by two California State agencies project that summer months of extreme heat will be the norm by 2060.

“Our Changing Climate 2012, Vulnerability and Adaptation to the Increasing Risks from Climate Change in California” is the latest in an ongoing series of assessments commissioned by the California Energy Commission and the California Natural Resources Agency to help plan for the state’s climate future. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego researchers led four of the studies included in the report.

Among the findings: Rising July temperatures by 2060 will outpace what we now consider to be exceptional, recording heat records. Scenarios that sea level along the California coast will reach levels three to four feet higher than those recorded in 2000.

Also, the conclusion that, if the most extreme global sea level estimates are realized, by the end of the 21st century coastal managers can anticipate annual coastal flooding events of much greater magnitude than those experienced during the 1982-83 El Niño. This last finding has tremendous implications for the state’s infrastructure of roads, railroads, and power generation and transmission systems located in coastal zones.

Researchers concluded that current management policy, which relies heavily on long-term historical norms, will likely be insufficient to cope with the increasing variability brought about by climate change, but forecast-informed management would offer better results.

— More information at

Protection against broad range of flu

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Crucell Vaccine Institute (in the Netherlands) describes three human antibodies that provide broad protection against Influenza B virus strains. The same team had previously reported finding broadly neutralizing antibodies against Influenza A strains.

Isolation of the new antibodies will help efforts to develop a universal antibody-based flu therapy for use in severe infections or to protect hospital staff during an outbreak. These antibodies may also provide key clues to the design one day of an active universal flu vaccine — designed for long-term protection against flu viruses, not just against the current season’s strains.

— The findings appear online in Science Express. News release at