This chapter discusses the modern climate of California and the paleoclimate and paleobiogeography of the California vegetation. California's Mediterranean climate of winter precipitation and protracted summer drought is an outcome of seasonal changes in global circulation. Climate variability in California is correlated with two-coupled ocean-atmospheric phenomena, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The chapter also discusses global climate change, local plate tectonic history, and the development of the California flora since the late Cretaceous. Paleobiogeographic and climatic evidences are then compared to address how climate has influenced the paleobiota leading to modern vegetation. The chapter ends by considering areas for future research.
Keywords: climate; paleoclimate; paleobiogeography; El Niño; Pacific Decadal Oscillation; paleobiota
Chapter. 21974 words.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry
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