Residents in several regions in the Antelope Valley are among the more than half of Los Angeles County residents—about 5.7 million people—who reportedly reside in communities deemed “highly exposed’’ to severe climate impacts now and through 2050, according to a study released this week by the county’s Chief Sustainability Office.
Impending dangers include extreme heat, wildfire, inland flooding, extreme precipitation, coastal flooding and drought, according to the LA County Climate Vulnerability Assessment.
The 141-page document found that an estimated 56 percent of county residents are vulnerable to such present-day and projected changes in exposure by 2050. In addition, the report found that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color face “a disproportionate amount of climate vulnerability as well as limited capacity to withstand and weather future threats.’’
Those communities represent nearly 17 percent of the county’s population, the report said.
Researchers highlighted 47 “communities of concern’’ that face the dual dangers of “an increased exposure to climate hazards and high susceptibility to negative impacts.’’
Among those communities were East Los Angeles; South Gate; Bellflower; Long Beach; San Pedro; Santa Clarita; Reseda and Winnetka in the San Fernando Valley; Montebello; the Westlake and Crenshaw districts; and North Lancaster, Hi Vista and Roosevelt in the Antelope Valley.
Factors included in those assessments were homelessness and employment conditions such as warehousing jobs, where workers are typically indoors but still exposed to hazardous conditions such as heat.
The report noted that the most severe climate impacts predicted by 2050 include:
— A tenfold increase in extreme heat waves;
— A doubling of the population highly
vulnerable to extreme heat;
— Mega-droughts lasting multiple decades;
— Nearly 20 percent of properties at risk of
flooding during a large storm;
— More extreme swings between droughts
and rain—likely leading to flash floods and
— Seas rising by 2.5 feet at local shorelines;
— And a 40-percent increase of wildfire burn
areas in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Officials said the report will be used as a guide for future priorities under the county’s Sustainability Plan, including increasing the tree canopy in low-income urban areas and future infrastructure spending.
“The assessment of the vulnerability and criticality of our electricity infrastructure was an interesting finding in this comprehensive study, further emphasizing the need for partnership and collaboration in our efforts to strengthen grid reliability,’’ Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.