In an article chock full of "could" and computer model projections, the San Jose Mercury News speculates in the headline, "Climate change may flatten Santa Cruz's famed surfing waves." Key word is "may" since it also may not. However, this doesn't prevent reporter James Urton from engaging in extreme conjecture about surf conditions in a century while computer model projections are often unable to correctly project the weather for the next day.
Let us now join Urton in the midst of his Chicken Little mode concerning the future of Santa Cruz surfing:
A rapidly changing global climate will likely affect prime surfing spots worldwide. And closer to home, the forecasts for Monterey Bay's famed big swells, while far from certain, are also far from good.
Yes, far, far from certain but that doesn't prevent you from engaging in extreme scaremongering about the state of surfing many years in the future, James:
One major source for California's surfing waves are open-ocean storms that send wave-generating swells toward the California coast. By 2100, these storms could shift, sending their swells on a course parallel to the coast rather than toward it. This change, coupled with dramatic sea-level rise, could eradicate today's surfing spots.
Scientists came to these conclusions using global climate models -- complex, computer-based crystal balls that use past conditions, current trends and greenhouse gas emission scenarios to predict our climate future.
It COULD eradicate today's surfing spots because the (computer-based) crystal balls said so.
If the predictions come true and the Monterey Bay closes the 21st century with poor surfing waves, scientists say the shifting climate and rising seas could create better surfing conditions along other seawall-free stretches of the California coastline -- but there are too many variables to pinpoint where.
Or the surfers could take up snow boarding to ride atop the Great Lakes which are currently (not projected to be) 84% frozen over due to Global Warming.
Exit question: If the Santa Cruz surf dies out, would the stoners there even notice?