Climate forecast dire for San Joaquin Valley regions, report says

Darlene Johnson and Christy Salazar were at the mercy of the triple-digit hot spell that occurred two weeks ago.

“I am living in a sweat box,” said Johnson, sitting on the porch of a rental home in Modesto’s Robertson Road area. “We have fans, but I’m pouring down sweat all the time. We had a cooler when we moved in, but the landlord took it out for some reason.”

Salazar said they stayed in the shade outside the home and soaked their faces with a water hose during the spate of searing heat. The two friends and Johnson’s husband share a two-bedroom home that’s unbearable on normal summer afternoons and gets even hotter when the sunlight bears down on the exposed west side of the house after 4 p.m.

Researchers recently predicted that Modesto’s Robertson Road neighborhood will be among the areas of California hardest hit by climate change.

The report from the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based think tank, looked at the social impacts of atmospheric warming in California — if or when the effects of climate change start to take hold in the decades ahead. Some climatologists believe the Golden State will see more frequent heat waves, wildfires, coastal flooding and erosion with the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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