From the vast fields of fruits and nuts in the Central Valley to the waterways of the Sacramento Delta -- and many growing centers in between -- climate change is beginning to take its toll on California agriculture.
According to a recent report commissioned by the state EPA and Energy Commission, yields in key crops are expected to drop significantly over the coming decades as climate change alters key growing conditions.
The list of crops most directly affected under business as usual conditions, assuming a 2 degree warming by 2050, reads like a walk through a supermarket produce section: yields of citrus crops in the San Joaquin Valley are expected to drop about 18% by 2050; grapes about 6%; cherries and other orchard crops about 9%. But this is not just a look into the state's future. California's farms, often called the nation's breadbasket, are already feeling the effects of the trifecta of converging forces prompted by climate change: shorter cold seasons, longer seasons of extreme heat, and dwindling water supplies.
This multi-platform collaboration of the Center for Investigative Reporting and KQED's science and environment reporting teams will examine how climate change is already playing out in one of California's largest industries. Three documentary reports will be woven into one comprehensive program.