California Physics

It has been concluded by most in the community of science that on the last glacial maximum, California region was cool and wet. Although it is easy to believe why during the ice age, California was cool, questions why it was predominantly wet is still considered debatable. A hub is on its way to examining California’s climate, and will verify if the cool and wet description of the scientific community is true. This hub will not go through an exhaustive analysis of California during the ice age but is committed even with the limited data. Furthermore, data regarding the climatic conditions of the past will be shown, though not in a quantitative manner. This is believed to be more suitable for the hub’s short confines.


The region’s several terrestrial aspects will be investigated by this hub, to better picture California’s conditions during the ice age and to show a clearer picture of what climatic condition existed.

General examinations will be done on plant and pollen, under the presumption that the relationship between the two is the same as what we observe in present times. The use of this method will allow us to use present day observation on relationships between deposition of pollen and conditions of the environment to create an elaborate reconstruction of past vegetation and environments according to MacDonald.

Examinations will also be done on the macrofossil collection of plants from packrat middens. It has been reported that because packrats are mostly herbivores whose movements are approximately measured at a hectare centered at midden, the gathered information studying packrats is invaluable. As packrats help to madden over a period of time, its fossil examination assists us to reconstruct past vegetation. And in so doing, it gives us a picture of what were environmental conditions in the past. Just like in pollen analysis, we depend on the assumption that the relationship of plants and the environment then, are almost the same as their relationship today. To help in the recreation of climatic conditions in the past, a strong moisture index will be utilized.

There will also be an examination on the levels of the lake on the last glacial maximum. For the rebuilding of California’s glacial maximum lake levels, 180 isotopic values are going to be used. That examination is important to the understanding of California’s wetness. Eventually, the hub will study the atmospheric general circulation model (GCM), on the ground of the work of COHMAP (1). The estimate of GCM is of high interest as the model takes into consideration different variables in the conditions of the climate; the variables mentioned are not declared for in the other approaches used by this study. The following are the variables used: isolation, temperature of the sea and its surface, snow cover, sea-ice limits and effective soil moisture.

It is expected that California’s glacial maximum climate can be pictured by investigating the physical data. By adding insight gathered from GCM, to the physical data, the hub hopes to give a strong argument about the claim that California is a region that was cool and wet.

 Today’s Environment

The whole state of California is known by its different geographical features that are interconnected to each other, making it so interesting. The west part is bounded by the Pacific Ocean that is near many mountain systems, like the Sierra Nevada and Santa Monica, in the north and south, respectively. Those mountain systems greatly influence California’s climate today. California’s aridity in the interior can be caused by rain shadows of the mountain systems.

According to Thompson, Whitlock, Harrison and Spaulding, the migratory low pressure cells influence precipitation in California. The westerlies, during the summer are moving far north, expanding the Pacific subtropical high, making the west coast dry. Forest, woodland, grassland and chaparral are the major vegetation groups.

Below the forests is where woodland generally exists. Junipers, pines and scrub oaks are just a few of the primary woodland.  More moisture is observed on the Central Valleys of California, where grasslands are vast.  You may also read California Physic for more information.