This team of top climate scientists has concluded that our region of the country is hotter than it has ever been and that it will get hotter — because of humans. The last decade was the hottest the Southwestern U.S. has experienced — on average 2 degrees warmer than it had been historically. The scientists project a further increase over the next 50 years of 6 to 9 degrees if we do nothing. …

This shift could spell disaster for California, long the nation’s agricultural powerhouse. The state produces more than half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S., with an output of $43.5 billion last year. Californians don’t rely just on the food produced by the state’s farms; they rely on the revenue and the jobs too. Agriculture employs more than 1.5 million people in California.

This report spells out many other negative effects that rising temperatures will cause in California. Over the last 100 years, sea levels have risen about 7 inches, and the San Francisco Bay Area is already feeling the effects. A sewage system there was flooded with saltwater, and the 101 Freeway has seen flooding. This isn’t a distant threat. …

The report should be a wake-up call for leaders in Washington to overcome gridlock and start working on solutions. For models of how to proceed, they need only look to California and other states and cities that have begun to move forward in a bipartisan way.