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Climate Change Blog

 

Climate Change Adaptation in the United States Federal Natural Resource Science and Management Agencies: A Synthesis

Report Climate Change Adaptation in the United States Federal Natural Resource Science and Management Agencies: A Synthesis - "Federal agencies with responsibility for natural resource management are mandated to consider climate change in planning and projects, and to begin preparing for the effects of climate change. Federal agen­cies are making significant progress in climate change adaptation, although lack of financial resources has slowed implementation of climate-focused activities. Currently, most agencies have broad-scale strategic plans that describe approaches and priorities for climate change in general and for adaptation in particular. Although adequate scientific databases, analytical tools, and decision support aids are generally available to assist with adaptation, on-the-ground projects and plans relevant to resource management have been implemented unevenly across agencies. . . . At the management-unit scale, much of the progress to date has occurred where motivated resource managers and scientists have collaborated to develop climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation options. These science-management partnerships provide a model for how adaptation can move forward across large landscapes, and can be emulated by others who want to begin the process. Because sustainable resource management typically encompasses restoration and building of resilience in ecosystems, agencies can build on existing practices, adjusting them as necessary to address risks posed by a changing climate." (Published April 28, 2015)
Source: United States. Global Change Research Program
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species /
(Posted May 22, 2015)

 

How climate change is making California's epic drought worse

News article How climate change is making California's epic drought worse (Published May 21, 2015)
Source: Phys.Org
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted May 21, 2015)

 

Sea-level rise accelerated over the past two decades, research finds

News article Sea-level rise accelerated over the past two decades, research finds
Related Link: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2635.html
(Published May 21, 2015)
Source: Environmental Research Web
Climate Change Topics: Sea level rise /
(Posted May 21, 2015)

 

Climate Change Adaptation Introductory Training for Local Officials

Report Climate Change Adaptation Introductory Training for Local Officials - Deals with effects of climate change (such as rising temperatures, changing precipitation, increased drought and wildfires, and sea level rise) and local communities' vulnerabilities (stormwater, wastewater, water supply, etc.). Takes about 30 minutes to complete. (Published May 6, 2015)
Source: United States. Environmental Protection Agency
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Drought / Sea level rise / Water quality / Wildfires /
(Posted May 21, 2015)

 

Climate change could cause cold-blooded animals' thermal tolerance to shrink

News article Climate change could cause cold-blooded animals' thermal tolerance to shrink (Published May 19, 2015)
Source: Science Daily
Climate Change Topics: Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species /
(Posted May 20, 2015)

 

Governor Brown Signs International Agreement to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

News article Governor Brown Signs International Agreement to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Published May 19, 2015)
Source: Association of California Water Agencies
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted May 20, 2015)

 

US West's power grid must be prepared for impacts of climate change

News article US West's power grid must be prepared for impacts of climate change (Published May 18, 2015)
Source: Science Daily
Climate Change Topics: Energy management and conservation /
(Posted May 19, 2015)

 

New Approaches for Responding to Climate Change in the San Francisco Bay-Delta

Report New Approaches for Responding to Climate Change in the San Francisco Bay-Delta - Series of 12 videos from a workshop on effects on the Bay-Delta ecosystem. (May not work with Internet Explorer 9) (Published May 6, 2015)
Source: University of California, Davis
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / California: Bay Area and Delta / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species / Flooding / Land Use, environmental management systems, and regulation / Sea level rise /
(Posted May 19, 2015)

 

UCLA report shows 75 percent of Los Angeles County water systems vulnerable to drought, other challenges

News article UCLA report shows 75 percent of Los Angeles County water systems vulnerable to drought, other challenges
Related Link: http://164.67.121.27/files/Downloads/luskincenter/water/Water_Atlas.pdf
(Published May 14, 2015)
Source: UCLA
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / California: Water/Flood Protection Districts / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack / Water utilities guidance /
(Posted May 18, 2015)

 

Hope can't solve water supply problems (Opinion)

News article Hope can't solve water supply problems (Opinion) (Published May 14, 2015)
Source: Morgan Hill Times
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Drought / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted May 14, 2015)

 

'Sea level rise rates are speeding up': The terrifying threat facing coastal cities

News article 'Sea level rise rates are speeding up': The terrifying threat facing coastal cities
Related Link: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2635.html
(Published May 12, 2015)
Source: Salon.com
Climate Change Topics: Sea level rise /
(Posted May 14, 2015)

 

Unabated global mean sea-level rise over the satellite altimeter era

Report Unabated global mean sea-level rise over the satellite altimeter era - "The rate of global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise has been suggested to be lower for the past decade compared with the preceding decade as a result of natural variability, with an average rate of rise since 1993 of +3.2 plus or minus 0.4 mm yr-1. However, satellite-based GMSL estimates do not include an allowance for potential instrumental drifts (bias drift). . . . Applying the bias drift corrections has two implications. First, the GMSL rate (1993 to mid-2014) is systematically reduced to between +2.6 plus or minus 0.4 mm yr-1 and +2.9 plus or minus 0.4 mm yr-1, depending on the choice of VLM applied. . . . Second, in contrast to the previously reported slowing in the rate during the past two decades, our corrected GMSL data set indicates an acceleration in sea-level rise (independent of the VLM used), which is of opposite sign to previous estimates and comparable to the accelerated loss of ice from Greenland and to recent projections, and larger than the twentieth-century acceleration." (Watson, C. S., et al., 2015, Nature Climate Change) (Published May 11, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Sea level rise /
(Posted May 14, 2015)

 

Embracing Uncertainty: A Case Study Examination of How Climate Change is Shifting Water Utility Planning

Report Embracing Uncertainty: A Case Study Examination of How Climate Change is Shifting Water Utility Planning - Case studies from water utilities in the U.S. and Australia. Among the findings: "The utilities interviewed are bringing climate considerations into a variety of their decision processes; Climate change projections are not predictions of the future; The relationship between the change in climate and the change in water availability is not linear. Therefore, climate projections alone do not provide adequate information for good decision-making; Planning methods and tools need to allow utilities to plan for more than one future; Public involvement is now a top priority." (Published May 12, 2015)
Source: Water Utility Climate Alliance
Climate Change Topics: Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack / Water utilities guidance /
(Posted May 13, 2015)

 

Tracking Coastal Adaptation: Implementing California's Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database

Report Tracking Coastal Adaptation: Implementing California's Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database - "This paper . . .focuses on Assembly Bill 2516, an innovative new law that requires California to develop an online database of actions taken by state agencies and selected other entities to plan for sea level rise. With input from a team of coastal adaptation experts, co-authors Megan Herzog, Susanne Moser, and Sarah Newkirk offer recommendations on the content, format and functionality of the new database, including potential survey questions and indicators to incorporate. The report suggests A.B. 2516 should be seen as a planning tool that can play an integral role in the development and promotion of coordinated, integrated, and effective state policy to protect California's coasts from sea level rise. These recommendations may be useful to other states, policymakers, researchers, and private entities seeking to enhance the compilation, publication, and analysis of information about climate change adaptation." (Published May 12, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / California: Statewide / Sea level rise /
(Posted May 12, 2015)

 

Actionable Science in Practice: Co-producing Climate Change Information for Water Utility Vulnerability Assessments

Report Actionable Science in Practice: Co-producing Climate Change Information for Water Utility Vulnerability Assessments - Four water utilities worked on downscaling climate models in order to determine their vulnerabilities. (Published April 27, 2015)
Source: Water Utility Climate Alliance
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack / Water utilities guidance /
(Posted May 8, 2015)

 

Optimization of Energy and Water Quality Management Systems for Drinking Water Utilities

Report Optimization of Energy and Water Quality Management Systems for Drinking Water Utilities - "This project addressed the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) while optimizing the level of energy efficiency at drinking water facilities. Specifically, this study synthesized and assessed the growing body of information on the Energy and Water Quality Management System (EWQMS) framework; developed a functional specification for a GHG module that will be incorporated into EWQMS software; and implemented a pilot version of the modified EWQMS software at water utilities. Research partner: California Energy Commission. Published in 2015. This report may be a preliminary version. The California Energy Commission is reviewing the draft of the final project report for final editing and will post the final report on their website sometime in 2015." (Published March 31, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Energy management and conservation / Water utilities guidance /
(Posted May 7, 2015)

 

Head of Tide

Report Head of Tide - "Within the tributaries that drain to San Francisco Bay, there exists a transition between fluvial and tidal processes and conditions. The upstream boundary of this transition, called the head of tide (HoT) zone, can be defined as the inland limit of the effects of average high tides on tributary flows and water surface elevation. This zone is characterized by unique and diverse assemblages of plants and animals, cultural resources, as well as a vulnerability to out-of-channel flooding during high river flow and high tide conditions. As many Bay Area municipalities are built near the HoT zone, there is a growing concern about managing the flooding risk as well as the aquatic resources in the HoT zone for current conditions and future conditions when rapid sea level rise causes the HoT zone to migrate inland. The first step in developing effective management strategies needs to be creating a process, or protocol, for determining where the HoT zone is now and where it will likely be in the future." (Published August 25, 2014)
Source: San Francisco Estuary Institute
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species / Flooding / Sea level rise /
(Posted May 6, 2015)

 

White House: Prepare for climate change in infrastructure planning

News article White House: Prepare for climate change in infrastructure planning (Published May 5, 2015)
Source: The Hill
Climate Change Topics: Federal Regulations, EPA, Clean Air Act /
(Posted May 5, 2015)

 

Fire and Climate Change in California: Changes in the Distribution and Frequency of Fires in Climates of the Future and Recent Past (1911-2099)

Report Fire and Climate Change in California: Changes in the Distribution and Frequency of Fires in Climates of the Future and Recent Past (1911-2099) - "This research presents just one method of proposing a future of fire and includes many caveats and assumptions. Using statistical models, we relate the probability of burning in 1080-m landscapes over a 30-year baseline period of 1971-2000 to climate variables for the same period. These climate variables aim to represent spatial variation in vegetation growth conditions and the seasonal dryness necessary for burning. . . . We quantify how the risk of relatively long-term tendency for burning might change with climate over the next 100 years based on projections from two Global Climate Models and two emissions scenarios. Model outcomes suggest varying degrees of increased future fire activity in more productive regions of California; however by 2070-2099, the two GCMs selected for the study disagree in the polarity in response for drier, less productive regions. The second component of this study is retrospective. We test the temporal transferability of baseline models by back-casting using 1971-2000 model parameters but incorporating climate and development data from 1941-1970." (Krawchuk, M. and M. Moritz, 2012) (Published July 31, 2012)
Source: California. Energy Commission
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Wildfires /
(Posted May 5, 2015)

 

Center for Climate Strategies Adaptation Guidebook: Comprehensive Climate Action

Report Center for Climate Strategies Adaptation Guidebook: Comprehensive Climate Action - "Includes a catalogue of adaptation actions, detailed review of state and local adaptation plans and comprehensive methodology and supporting templates for sub national adaptation planning. The Adaptation Guidebook complements the step-based methodology CCS applies to mitigation work, and if applied consecutively, will have progressive impact in advanced climate planning and action." (Published December 21, 2011)
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation /
(Posted May 5, 2015)

 

Extreme weather already on increase due to climate change, study finds

News article Extreme weather already on increase due to climate change, study finds (Published April 30, 2015)
Source: Environmental Research Web
Climate Change Topics: Precipitation, Extreme Weather /
(Posted May 1, 2015)

 

Governor Brown's New Climate Offensive in Five Jerryesque Quotes

News article Governor Brown's New Climate Offensive in Five Jerryesque Quotes (Published April 30, 2015)
Source: KQED Radio
Climate Change Topics: AB 32 / California: Statewide / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted May 1, 2015)

 

Climate change could wipe out 16 percent of world's species, research finds Climate change could wipe out 16 percent of world's species, research finds

News article Climate change could wipe out 16 percent of world's species, research finds Climate change could wipe out 16 percent of world's species, research finds (Published May 1, 2015)
Source: Sacramento Bee
Climate Change Topics: Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species /
(Posted May 1, 2015)

 

Future of our coasts: The potential for natural and hybrid infrastructure to enhance the resilience of our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems

Report Future of our coasts: The potential for natural and hybrid infrastructure to enhance the resilience of our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems - "There is substantial evidence that natural infrastructure (i.e., healthy ecosystems) and combinations of natural and built infrastructure ('hybrid' approaches) enhance coastal resilience by providing important storm and coastal flooding protection, while also providing other benefits. There is growing interest in the U.S., as well as around the world, to use natural infrastructure to help coastal communities become more resilient to extreme events and reduce the risk of coastal flooding. Here we highlight strengths and weaknesses of the coastal protection benefits provided by built infrastructure, natural ecosystems, and the innovative opportunities to combine the two into hybrid approaches for coastal protection. We also examine some case studies where hybrid approaches are being implemented to improve coastal resilience as well as some of the policy challenges that can make implementation of these approaches more difficult. . . . Based on this analysis, we conclude that coastal communities and other decision makers need better information in order to incorporate ecosystem protection and restoration into coastal resilience planning efforts. As additional projects are developed, it is important to capitalize on every opportunity to learn more about the cost of natural and hybrid infrastructure projects, the value of the storm and erosion protection benefits provided, and the full suite of co-benefits provided by healthy coastal ecosystems. We highlight top priorities for research, investment in, and application of natural and hybrid approaches. These data are critical to facilitate adoption of these approaches in planning and decision-making at all levels to enhance the resilience of our coasts." (Sutton-Grier, A., et al., 2015, Environmental Science and Policy) (Published April 28, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Flooding / Sea level rise /
(Posted April 30, 2015)

 

California's greenhouse house gas emission targets are getting tougher

News article California's greenhouse house gas emission targets are getting tougher (Published April 29, 2015)
Source: Los Angeles Times
Climate Change Topics: AB 32 / California: Statewide / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted April 29, 2015)

 

Gov. Jerry Brown issues aggressive plan to slash California greenhouse gases by 2030

News article Gov. Jerry Brown issues aggressive plan to slash California greenhouse gases by 2030 (Published April 29, 2015)
Source: Associated Press
Climate Change Topics: AB 32 / California: Statewide / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted April 29, 2015)

 

Experts say extreme heat tied to people

News article Experts say extreme heat tied to people (Published April 28, 2015)
Source: Associated Press
Climate Change Topics: Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Temperature /
(Posted April 28, 2015)

 

Exclusive: Obama Tells Us What's to Come on Climate, Drought

News article Exclusive: Obama Tells Us What's to Come on Climate, Drought (Published April 23, 2015)
Source: National Geographic
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted April 24, 2015)

 

DOI, EPA, NOAA announce Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change

News article DOI, EPA, NOAA announce Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change (Published April 21, 2015)
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Climate Change Topics: Drought / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species / Sea level rise /
(Posted April 23, 2015)

 

Amid California's Historic Drought, a Scientist Digs for Answers

News article Amid California's Historic Drought, a Scientist Digs for Answers (Published April 22, 2015)
Source: Inside Climate News
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted April 23, 2015)

 

'New normal': Scientists predict less rain from here on out

News article 'New normal': Scientists predict less rain from here on out (Published April 18, 2015)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted April 23, 2015)

 

The influence of multiyear drought on the annual rainfall-runoff relationship: An Australian perspective

Report The influence of multiyear drought on the annual rainfall-runoff relationship: An Australian perspective - "Most current long-term (decadal and longer) hydrological predictions implicitly assume that hydrological processes are stationary even under changing climate. However, in practice, we suspect that changing climatic conditions may affect runoff generation processes and cause changes in the rainfall-runoff relationship. . . . The results demonstrate that protracted drought led to a significant shift in the rainfall-runoff relationship in ~44% of the catchment-dry periods studied. The shift led to less annual runoff for a given annual rainfall, compared with the historical relationship. We explore linkages between cases where statistically significant changes occurred and potential explanatory factors, including catchment properties and characteristics of the dry period (e.g., length, precipitation anomalies). We find that long-term drought is more likely to affect transformation of rainfall to runoff in drier, flatter, and less forested catchments. Understanding changes in the rainfall-runoff relationship is important for accurate streamflow projections and to help develop adaptation strategies to deal with multiyear droughts." (Saft, M., et al., 2015, Water Resources Research) (Published April 17, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Drought / Streamflow / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted April 21, 2015)

 

Surviving the Storm

Report Surviving the Storm - Report concludes that the Bay Area is not prepared for a 150-year extreme storm event, which could cause widespread flooding in low-lying areas. Climate change makes such storms more likely. (Bay Council) (Published April 13, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Flooding / Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Sea level rise /
(Posted April 20, 2015)

 

Twelve years of satellite data help decode climate change

News article Twelve years of satellite data help decode climate change (Published April 14, 2015)
Source: U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Climate Change Topics: Clouds, aerosols, air pollution, ozone, humidity /
(Posted April 16, 2015)

 

In California, a Wet Era May Be Ending

News article In California, a Wet Era May Be Ending (Published April 14, 2015)
Source: New York Times
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted April 14, 2015)

 

Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency: New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report

Report Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency: New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report - "Each year, the NPCC reviews recent scientific data on climate change and its potential impacts, and makes recommendations on climate projections for the coming decades to the end of the century. This volume is a continuation of the NPCC assessment process that began in 2008, with some significant advances that reflect the growing sophistication of climate science research and the evolving policy agenda to which it must respond. The report provides the City of New York with projections of its climate to the end of the century, both static and dynamic coastal storm surge modeling, and next steps in the development of an indicators and monitoring system for climate change impacts and adaptation. The assessment process is innovative because it looks beyond critical infrastructure and its vulnerability to climate change, and more directly focuses on what a more dynamic climate will mean for the everyday experience of the city's residents." (Published February 1, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Flooding / Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Sea level rise / Temperature /
(Posted April 14, 2015)

 

California's drought and the weird warm 'blob' in the Pacific that may be fueling it

News article California's drought and the weird warm 'blob' in the Pacific that may be fueling it (Published April 10, 2015)
Source: Washington Post
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Temperature /
(Posted April 10, 2015)

 

Scientists: State drought likely to worsen; Stanford scientists say dry years and warm conditions likely to lead to severe drought

News article Scientists: State drought likely to worsen; Stanford scientists say dry years and warm conditions likely to lead to severe drought (Published April 8, 2015)
Source: Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted April 9, 2015)

 

In Parched California, Innovation, Like Water, Has Limits

News article In Parched California, Innovation, Like Water, Has Limits (Published April 8, 2015)
Source: New York Times
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Agriculture / California: Statewide / Drought / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted April 8, 2015)

 

Near-term acceleration in the rate of temperature change

Report Near-term acceleration in the rate of temperature change - "Anthropogenically driven climate changes, which are expected to impact human and natural systems, are often expressed in terms of global-mean temperature. The rate of climate change over multi-decadal scales is also important, with faster rates of change resulting in less time for human and natural systems to adapt. We find that present trends in greenhouse-gas and aerosol emissions are now moving the Earth system into a regime in terms of multi-decadal rates of change that are unprecedented for at least the past 1,000 years. The rate of global-mean temperature increase in the CMIP5 archive over 40-year periods increases to 0.25 plus or minus 0.05 degrees C (1 standard deviation) per decade by 2020, an average greater than peak rates of change during the previous one to two millennia. Regional rates of change in Europe, North America and the Arctic are higher than the global average. Research on the impacts of such near-term rates of change is urgently needed." (Smith, S. J., et al., 2015, Nature Climate Change) (Published March 9, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Temperature /
(Posted April 8, 2015)

 

2014 Highlights of Progress: Responses to Climate Change by the National Water Program

Report 2014 Highlights of Progress: Responses to Climate Change by the National Water Program - EPA's work in water infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal waters, and water quality. (Published March 25, 2015)
Source: United States. Environmental Protection Agency
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Drought / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species / Water quality / Water utilities guidance /
(Posted April 8, 2015)

 

Sonoma County Water Agency hits clean energy goal

News article Sonoma County Water Agency hits clean energy goal (Published April 7, 2015)
Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / California: Water/Flood Protection Districts / Energy management and conservation / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation / Renewable energy /
(Posted April 7, 2015)

 

Clean Energy Opportunities in California's Water Sector

Report Clean Energy Opportunities in California's Water Sector - "By investing in clean, renewable energy sources, water utilities can better adapt to changing conditions while creating new revenue streams, protecting their customers from electricity price volatility, and enhancing the state's efforts to reduce global warming pollution." (Union of Concerned Scientists) (Published April 6, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Energy management and conservation / Water utilities guidance / Renewable energy / California: Water/Flood Protection Districts /
(Posted April 7, 2015)

 

Climate change to make California drought worse, report says

News article Climate change to make California drought worse, report says
Related Link: http://riskybusiness.org/california-report/pdf
(Published April 3, 2015)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted April 6, 2015)

 

From Boom to Bust? Climate Change in the Golden State

Report From Boom to Bust? Climate Change in the Golden State - "This report focuses on California and explores some of the likely economic consequences to the state of continuing on our current greenhouse gas emissions pathway, with no significant new national policy or global action to mitigate climate change. . . . These risks include: A dramatic increase in extreme heat across the state, especially in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland South regions . . . Changes in the timing, amount, and type of precipitation in California, which could lead to increased drought and flooding and put the reliability of the state's water supply at risk . . . Widespread losses of coastal property and infrastructure due to sea-level rise along the California coast . . . Shifting agricultural patterns and crop yields, with distinct threats to California's varied crop mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other highly valuable commodities . . . Increasing electricity demand combined with reduced system capacity, leading to higher energy costs . . . Higher heat-related mortality, declining labor productivity, and worsened air quality." (Risky Business) (Published April 2, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Agriculture / California: Statewide / Energy management and conservation / Flooding / Global issues, human impacts / Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Sea level rise / Temperature / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack / Sea-Level and Flood Risks: FEMA or Insurance Industry Responses / Water-Supply Related Risks: Insurance Industry Responses /
(Posted April 6, 2015)

 

California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say

News article California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say (Published April 2, 2015)
Source: New York Times
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted April 2, 2015)

 

Model helps city planners prepare to weather large storms

News article Model helps city planners prepare to weather large storms (Published March 31, 2015)
Source: Science Daily
Climate Change Topics: Precipitation, Extreme Weather /
(Posted April 1, 2015)

 

Adaptation Strategies for Water Utilities

Report Adaptation Strategies for Water Utilities - Helps utilities prepare for challenges such as drought, water quality degradation, floods, ecosystem changes, and changes in service demand and use. (Part of EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities program) Updated in 2015 to include updated climate models, updated case studies, green infrastructure, energy management, and water demand management. (Published March 4, 2015)
Source: United States. Environmental Protection Agency
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Drought / Energy management and conservation / Flooding / Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Sea level rise / Water quality / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack / Water utilities guidance /
(Posted April 1, 2015)

 

California Climate Data Archive (CalClim)

Report California Climate Data Archive (CalClim) - Temperature and precipitation data. Calclim is sponsored by the California Energy Commission and is a joint effort between the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Western Regional Climate Center. (Published )
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Models and Tools / Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Temperature /
(Posted April 1, 2015)

 

California's Water

Report California's Water - Updated report on water issues. (April 2015) (Published April 1, 2015)
Source: Public Policy Institute of California
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted April 1, 2015)

 

Home on the California Range, Year 2100: Land Use and Climate Change Could Impact Wildlife, Water Supplies

News article Home on the California Range, Year 2100: Land Use and Climate Change Could Impact Wildlife, Water Supplies (Published March 25, 2015)
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Ecosystem Services and Climate Change / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species / Land Use, environmental management systems, and regulation /
(Posted March 26, 2015)

 

In a warmer world, researchers say climate change is intensifying California's water crisis

News article In a warmer world, researchers say climate change is intensifying California's water crisis (Published March 24, 2015)
Source: KALW
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted March 25, 2015)

 

Climate change and California drought in the 21st century

Report Climate change and California drought in the 21st century - "Recent analyses have thus established the 'fingerprint' of anthropogenic climate change in an increasingly diverse array of meteorological and hydrological phenomena around the world, from heat waves to coastal damages during extreme tides and storms, flooding from more intense precipitation events, and severe drought. In a new study published in PNAS, Diffenbaugh et al. now add weight to the accumulating evidence that anthropogenic climatic changes are already influencing the frequency, magnitude, and duration of drought in California. The authors show that the increasing co-occurrence of dry years with warm years raises the risk of drought despite limited evidence of a trend in precipitation itself, highlighting the critical role of elevated temperatures in altering water availability and increasing overall drought intensity and impact." (Mann, M. E. and P. H. Gleick, 2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) (Published March 23, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 24, 2015)

 

San Jose's general plan imperiled by greenhouse gas lawsuit

News article San Jose's general plan imperiled by greenhouse gas lawsuit (Published March 23, 2015)
Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Land Use, environmental management systems, and regulation /
(Posted March 23, 2015)

 

San Lorenzo: Environmentally friendly levee could protect against sea level rise

News article San Lorenzo: Environmentally friendly levee could protect against sea level rise (Published March 18, 2015)
Source: Contra Costa Times
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Flooding / Sea level rise /
(Posted March 20, 2015)

 

New Report Reveals Drought Increases Energy Costs and Climate-Changing Pollution

News article New Report Reveals Drought Increases Energy Costs and Climate-Changing Pollution (Published March 17, 2015)
Source: Pacific Institute
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Energy management and conservation / Greenhouse gas (GHG) increases /
(Posted March 18, 2015)

 

Impacts of California's Ongoing Drought: Hydroelectricity Generation

Report Impacts of California's Ongoing Drought: Hydroelectricity Generation - "Our analysis find[s] that during the three years ending in October 2014 (the end of the 2014 'water year'), the cost to California ratepayers of reduced hydroelectricity production and the use of additional natural gas was approximately $1.4 billion dollars. The additional combustion of fossil fuels for electric generation caused an eight percent increase in the release of carbon dioxide from California power plants." (Published March 17, 2015)
Source: Pacific Institute
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Energy management and conservation / Greenhouse gas (GHG) increases /
(Posted March 18, 2015)

 

Heat is on to slow down faster rise in temperatures

News article Heat is on to slow down faster rise in temperatures (Published March 16, 2015)
Source: Environmental Research Web
Climate Change Topics: Temperature /
(Posted March 17, 2015)

 

Lake Tahoe: Drought, climate change threatening winter, way of life at iconic landmark

News article Lake Tahoe: Drought, climate change threatening winter, way of life at iconic landmark (Published March 14, 2015)
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought / Temperature /
(Posted March 16, 2015)

 

Climate change weakens summer circulation in northern hemisphere

News article Climate change weakens summer circulation in northern hemisphere (Published March 13, 2015)
Source: Environmental Research Web
Climate Change Topics: Precipitation, Extreme Weather /
(Posted March 16, 2015)

 

Get ready for weirder weather in California (Column)

News article Get ready for weirder weather in California (Column) (Published March 12, 2015)
Source: Sacramento Bee
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Precipitation, Extreme Weather /
(Posted March 12, 2015)

 

San Mateo County embarking on new sea rise vulnerability study

News article San Mateo County embarking on new sea rise vulnerability study (Published March 7, 2015)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Sea level rise /
(Posted March 9, 2015)

 

Flooding Google: Google's New Headquarters and the Threat of Sea-Level Rise

News article Flooding Google: Google's New Headquarters and the Threat of Sea-Level Rise (Published March 4, 2015)
Source: Huffington Post
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Flooding / Sea level rise /
(Posted March 6, 2015)

 

Scientists explain how climate change helps fuel California drought

News article Scientists explain how climate change helps fuel California drought (Published March 3, 2015)
Source: Los Angeles Times
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 3, 2015)

 

Report: Droughts Likely To Continue In California, Maybe Forever

News article Report: Droughts Likely To Continue In California, Maybe Forever (Published March 2, 2015)
Source: SFist
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 3, 2015)

 

Adaptation Policy and Plan

Report Adaptation Policy and Plan - Most recent climate change adaptation policies and plans from the Army Corps of Engineers (Published October 31, 2014)
Source: United States. Army Corps of Engineers
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation /
(Posted March 3, 2015)

 

Incorporating Sea Level Change in Civil Works Programs

Report Incorporating Sea Level Change in Civil Works Programs - "Guidance for incorporating the direct and indirect physical effects of projected future sea level change across the project life cycle in managing, planning, engineering, designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining USACE projects and systems of projects." (Regulation ER 1100-2-8162) Supersedes Circular EC 1165-2-212 (Published December 31, 2013)
Source: United States. Army Corps of Engineers
Climate Change Topics: Planning Guides / Sea level rise /
(Posted March 3, 2015)

 

Procedures to Evaluate Sea Level Change: Impacts, Responses, and Adaptation

Report Procedures to Evaluate Sea Level Change: Impacts, Responses, and Adaptation - "Provides guidance for understanding the direct and indirect physical and ecological effects of projected future sea level change on USACE projects and systems of projects and considerations for adapting to those effects." (Technical Letter ETL 1100-2-1) (Published June 30, 2014)
Source: United States. Army Corps of Engineers
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / Planning Guides / Sea level rise /
(Posted March 3, 2015)

 

Comprehensive Evaluation of Projects with Respect to Sea-Level Change

Report Comprehensive Evaluation of Projects with Respect to Sea-Level Change - Includes a sea-level change curve calculator, which the Corps uses to make low, medium, and high projections for sea level rise. Also links to the latest Corps policies and guidelines. (Published February 26, 2015)
Source: United States. Army Corps of Engineers
Climate Change Topics: Models and Tools / Sea level rise /
(Posted March 3, 2015)

 

Record winter warmth not helping with drought

News article Record winter warmth not helping with drought (Published March 3, 2015)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 2, 2015)

 

California drought likely a fixture, says Stanford study

News article California drought likely a fixture, says Stanford study
Related Link: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/23/1422385112
(Published March 3, 2015)
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 2, 2015)

 

California Drought Linked to Human-Caused Warming: Study

News article California Drought Linked to Human-Caused Warming: Study (Published March 2, 2015)
Source: NBC News
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 2, 2015)

 

The Greenhouse Effect Is Truly at Work, Observations Show

News article The Greenhouse Effect Is Truly at Work, Observations Show (Published February 27, 2015)
Source: KQED Radio
Climate Change Topics: Temperature / Greenhouse gas (GHG) increases /
(Posted March 2, 2015)

 

Anthropogenic warming has increased drought risk in California

Report Anthropogenic warming has increased drought risk in California - "Our analyses show that California has historically been more likely to experience drought if precipitation deficits co-occur with warm conditions and that such confluences have increased in recent decades, leading to increases in the fraction of low-precipitation years that yield drought. In addition, we find that human emissions have increased the probability that low-precipitation years are also warm, suggesting that anthropogenic warming is increasing the probability of the co-occurring warm-dry conditions that have created the current California drought." (Diffenbaugh, N. S., et al., 2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) (Published March 2, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted March 2, 2015)

 

A cause for pause? Scientists offer reasons for global warming 'hiatus'

News article A cause for pause? Scientists offer reasons for global warming 'hiatus' (Published February 27, 2015)
Source: Los Angeles Times
Climate Change Topics: Temperature /
(Posted February 27, 2015)

 

Joint effects of storm surge and sea-level rise on US Coasts: new economic estimates of impacts, adaptation, and benefits of mitigation policy

Report Joint effects of storm surge and sea-level rise on US Coasts: new economic estimates of impacts, adaptation, and benefits of mitigation policy - "Recent literature, the US Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment, and recent events, such as Hurricane Sandy, highlight the need to take better account of both storm surge and sea-level rise (SLR) in assessing coastal risks of climate change. This study combines three models -- a tropical cyclone simulation model; a storm surge model; and a model for economic impact and adaptation -- to estimate the joint effects of storm surge and SLR for the US coast through 2100. The model is tested using multiple SLR scenarios, including those incorporating estimates of dynamic ice-sheet melting, two global greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation policy scenarios, and multiple general circulation model climate sensitivities. The results illustrate that a large area of coastal land and property is at risk of damage from storm surge today; that land area and economic value at risk expands over time as seas rise and as storms become more intense; that adaptation is a cost-effective response to this risk, but residual impacts remain after adaptation measures are in place; that incorporating site-specific episodic storm surge increases national damage estimates by a factor of two relative to SLR-only estimates, with greater impact on the East and Gulf coasts; and that mitigation of GHGs contributes to significant lessening of damages." (Neumann, J. E., et al., 2015, Climatic Change) (Published March 1, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Flooding / Sea level rise /
(Posted February 27, 2015)

 

First direct observation of carbon dioxide's increasing greenhouse effect at Earth's surface

News article First direct observation of carbon dioxide's increasing greenhouse effect at Earth's surface (Published February 25, 2015)
Source: Science Daily
Climate Change Topics: Greenhouse gas (GHG) increases / Temperature /
(Posted February 26, 2015)

 

DWR Honored with National Climate Leadership Award

News article DWR Honored with National Climate Leadership Award (Published February 24, 2015)
Source: California Dept. of Water Resources
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Energy management and conservation /
(Posted February 25, 2015)

 

2014 California BCM (Basin Characterization Model) Downscaled Climate and Hydrology - Monthly Data

Report 2014 California BCM (Basin Characterization Model) Downscaled Climate and Hydrology - Monthly Data - "The California Basin Characterization Model (CA-BCM 2014) dataset provides historical and projected climate and hydrologic surfaces for the region that encompasses the state of California and all the streams that flow into it (California hydrologic region ). The CA-BCM 2014 applies a monthly regional water-balance model to simulate hydrologic responses to climate at the spatial resolution of a 270-m grid. The model has been calibrated using a total of 159 relatively unimpaired watersheds for the California region. The historical data is based on 800m PRISM data spatially downscaled to 270 m using the gradient-inverse distance squared approach (GIDS), and the projected climate surfaces include five CMIP-3 and nine CMIP-5 General Circulation Models under a range of emission scenarios or representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for a total of 18 futures that have been statistically downscaled using BCSD to 800 m and further downscaled using GIDS to 270 m for model application." (Published July 1, 2014)
Source: United States. Geological Survey
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Streamflow / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted February 25, 2015)

 

Twentieth-century shifts in forest structure in California: Denser forests, smaller trees, and increased dominance of oaks

Report Twentieth-century shifts in forest structure in California: Denser forests, smaller trees, and increased dominance of oaks - "Declines in the number of large trees in temperate and tropical forests have attracted attention, given their disproportionate importance to forest structure, function, and carbon storage. Yet, factors responsible for these declines are unclear. By comparing historic (1930s) and contemporary (2000s) surveys of California forests, we document that across 120,000 km2, large trees have declined by up to 50%, corresponding to a 19% decline in average basal area and associated biomass, despite large increases in small tree density. Contemporary forests also exhibit increased dominance by oaks over pines. Both large tree declines and increased oak dominance were associated with increases in climatic water deficit, suggesting that water stress may be contributing to changes in forest structure and function across large areas." (McIntyre, P. J., et al., 2014, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) (Published December 15, 2014)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species /
(Posted February 25, 2015)

 

Guidance for Incorporating Sea Level Rise into Capital Planning in San Francisco: Assessing Vulnerability, Risk, and Adaptation (Draft)

Report Guidance for Incorporating Sea Level Rise into Capital Planning in San Francisco: Assessing Vulnerability, Risk, and Adaptation (Draft) - "As a consequence of rising sea level, San Francisco will experience more frequent and severe coastal flooding than in the past. Areas that currently experience infrequent flooding will be inundated more often and more areas along our shorelines will be exposed to periodic flooding than in the past or today. Sea level rise therefore poses a pervasive and increasing threat along San Francisco’s shorelines. As new infrastructure projects are planned along the shoreline, or existing assets are modified or improved, flooding due to rising sea levels -- in combination with storm surge and wave run up -- must be evaluated." (Sea Level Rise Committee, SF Adapt) (Published July 11, 2014)
Climate Change Topics: California: Bay Area and Delta / Sea level rise /
(Posted February 25, 2015)

 

Is drought the new normal for Southern California? (Column)

News article Is drought the new normal for Southern California? (Column) (Published February 24, 2015)
Source: Los Angeles Times
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Drought /
(Posted February 24, 2015)

 

Robust Hadley Circulation changes and increasing global dryness due to CO2 warming from CMIP5 model projections

Report Robust Hadley Circulation changes and increasing global dryness due to CO2 warming from CMIP5 model projections - "In spite of increasing research efforts, global warming signals of the Hadley Circulation (HC) and its dynamical linkages to water cycle changes remain largely unknown. Here, from model projections, we find robust signals of both strengthening and weakening components of the HC induced by CO2 warming. These changes in the HC drive a pattern of global dryness featuring widespread reduction of tropospheric humidity and increased frequency of dry months, particularly over subtropical and tropical land regions. We also find that global warming signal in increased dryness is the most detectable among numerous water-cycle quantities examined. Our results provide a scientific basis for inferring that greenhouse warming is likely to contribute to the observed prolonged worldwide droughts in recent decades." (Lau, W. K. M. and K.-M. Kim, 2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) (Published January 22, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Drought /
(Posted February 24, 2015)

 

How to interpret expert judgment assessments of 21st century sea-level rise

Report How to interpret expert judgment assessments of 21st century sea-level rise - "In a recent paper Bamber and Aspinall (Nat Clim Change 3:424-427, 2013) (BA13) investigated the sea-level rise that may result from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets during the 21st century. Using data from an expert judgment elicitation, they obtained a final high-end (P95) value of +84 cm integrated sea-level change from the ice sheets for the 2010-2100 period. However, one key message was left largely undiscussed: The experts had strongly diverging opinions about the ice-sheet contributions to sea-level rise. We argue that such (lack of) consensus should form an essential and integral part of the subsequent analysis of the data. ... Our analysis therefore demonstrates that one should be careful in considering high-end sea-level rise estimates as being well-determined and fixed numbers." (De Vries, H. and R. S. W. Van de Wal, 2015, Climatic Change) (Published February 20, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Sea level rise /
(Posted February 24, 2015)

 

Storm Water Management Model (SWMM)

Report Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) - "EPA's Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) is used throughout the world for planning, analysis and design related to stormwater runoff, combined and sanitary sewers, and other drainage systems in urban areas. There are many applications for drainage systems in non-urban areas as well." Optional add-in: a Climate Adjustment Tool (SWMM-CAT) (Published October 9, 2014)
Source: United States. Environmental Protection Agency
Climate Change Topics: Models and Tools / Water quality / Precipitation, Extreme Weather /
(Posted February 23, 2015)

 

Adapting California's Ecosystems to a Changing Climate

Report Adapting California's Ecosystems to a Changing Climate - "Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through four case studies that span large spatial domains and encompass diverse ecological systems, institutions, ownerships, and policies. The case studies demonstrate the context specificity of societal efforts to adapt ecosystems to climate change and involve applications of diverse scientific tools (e.g., scenario analyses, downscaled climate projections, ecological and connectivity models) tailored to specific planning and management situations (alternative energy siting, wetland management, rangeland management, open space planning). They illustrate how existing institutional and policy frameworks provide numerous opportunities to advance adaptation related to ecosystems and suggest that progress is likely to be greatest when scientific knowledge is integrated into collective planning and when supportive policies and financing enable action. " (Chornesky, E. A., et al., 2015, BioScience) (Published February 11, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Adaptation / California: Statewide / Ecosystems, Habitat, Threatened Species /
(Posted February 23, 2015)

 

Climate Change Poses Existential Water Risks

News article Climate Change Poses Existential Water Risks (Published February 17, 2015)
Source: National Geographic
Climate Change Topics: Drought / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted February 18, 2015)

 

Integrated climate and land use change scenarios for California rangeland ecosystem services: wildlife habitat, soil carbon, and water supply

Report Integrated climate and land use change scenarios for California rangeland ecosystem services: wildlife habitat, soil carbon, and water supply - "Results support the need for climate-smart land use planning that takes recharge areas into account, which will provide opportunities for water storage in dry years. Given projections for agriculture, more modeling is needed on feedbacks between agricultural expansion on rangelands and water supply." (Byrd, K. B., et al., 2015, Landscape Ecology) (Published February 5, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Ecosystem Services and Climate Change / Land Use, environmental management systems, and regulation / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted February 18, 2015)

 

Scientists look at role of wetlands in battle against climate change

News article Scientists look at role of wetlands in battle against climate change (Published February 16, 2015)
Source: Phys.Org
Climate Change Topics: Ecosystem Services and Climate Change / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted February 17, 2015)

 

San Jose: Scientists call for "geoengineering" tests to find ways to cool the planet

News article San Jose: Scientists call for "geoengineering" tests to find ways to cool the planet (Published February 15, 2015)
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Climate Change Topics: Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted February 17, 2015)

 

At a glance: Water reports target critical issues

News article At a glance: Water reports target critical issues (Published February 16, 2015)
Source: Capitol Weekly
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted February 17, 2015)

 

Climate Action Plan Toolkit: EPA Releases Stormwater Climate Change Tool

News article Climate Action Plan Toolkit: EPA Releases Stormwater Climate Change Tool (Published February 13, 2015)
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Climate Change Topics: Precipitation, Extreme Weather / Water quality /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

New Study: Global Warming Will Bring Megadroughts to the West

News article New Study: Global Warming Will Bring Megadroughts to the West (Published February 13, 2015)
Source: KQED Radio
Climate Change Topics: Drought /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

Warming pushes Western U.S. toward driest period in 1,000 years: Unprecedented risk of drought in 21st century

News article Warming pushes Western U.S. toward driest period in 1,000 years: Unprecedented risk of drought in 21st century (Published February 12, 2015)
Source: Science Daily
Climate Change Topics: Drought /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

Scientists predict 'megadroughts' will hit the West, last for decades

News article Scientists predict 'megadroughts' will hit the West, last for decades
Related Link: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400082
(Published February 13, 2015)
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Climate Change Topics: Drought /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

Revised Draft Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Impacts

Report Revised Draft Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Impacts - "This guidance explains that agencies should consider both the potential effects of a proposed action on climate change, as indicated by its estimated greenhouse gas emissions, and the implications of climate change for the environmental effects of a proposed action. The guidance also emphasizes that agency analyses should be commensurate with projected greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts, and should employ appropriate quantitative or qualitative analytical methods to ensure useful information is available to inform the public and the decision-making process in distinguishing between alternatives and mitigations. ... Unlike the 2010 draft guidance, the revised draft guidance applies to all proposed Federal agency actions, including land and resource management actions. … CEQ is soliciting public comment on this revised draft guidance for 60 days, with the comment period closing on February 23, 2015." (Published December 18, 2014)
Source: United States. White House Council on Environmental Quality
Climate Change Topics: Federal Regulations, EPA, Clean Air Act /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

Report Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains - "In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent than any historical event, providing crucial targets in the paleoclimate record for benchmarking the severity of future drought risks. We use an empirical drought reconstruction and three soil moisture metrics from 17 state-of-the-art general circulation models to show that these models project significantly drier conditions in the later half of the 21st century compared to the 20th century and earlier paleoclimatic intervals. This desiccation is consistent across most of the models and moisture balance variables, indicating a coherent and robust drying response to warming despite the diversity of models and metrics analyzed. Notably, future drought risk will likely exceed even the driest centuries of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1100-1300 CE) in both moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) future emissions scenarios, leading to unprecedented drought conditions during the last millennium." (Cook, B. I., et al., 2015, Science Advances) (Published February 1, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: Drought /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

The magnitude and spatial patterns of historical and future hydrologic change in California's watersheds

Report The magnitude and spatial patterns of historical and future hydrologic change in California's watersheds - "Process-based models that link climate and hydrology permit improved assessments of climate change impacts among watersheds. We used the Basin Characterization Model (BCM), a regional water balance model to (1) ask what is the magnitude of historical and projected future change in the hydrology of California's watersheds; (2) test the spatial congruence of watersheds with the most historical and future hydrologic change; and (3) identify watersheds with high levels of hydrologic change under drier and wetter future climates. We assessed change for 5135 watersheds over a 60-year historical period and compared it to 90-year future projections. Watershed change was analyzed for climatic water deficit, April 1st snowpack, recharge, and runoff. Watersheds were ranked by change for the historical and two future scenarios. We developed a normalized index of hydrologic change that combined the four variables, and identified which watersheds show the most spatial congruence of large historical change and continued change under the two futures." (Thorne, J. H., et al., 2015, Ecosphere) (Published February 12, 2015)
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted February 13, 2015)

 

California's Future: Climate Change

Report California's Future: Climate Change - Six-page summary of climate change issues in the state. (Published February 5, 2015)
Source: Public Policy Institute of California
Climate Change Topics: California: Statewide / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation / Sea level rise / Temperature / Water supply, changes in supply, snowpack /
(Posted February 12, 2015)

 

The best fix for farmers' water problems (Column)

News article The best fix for farmers' water problems (Column) (Published February 11, 2015)
Source: Santa Clarita Valley Signal
Climate Change Topics: Agriculture / California: Statewide / Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, mitigation /
(Posted February 11, 2015)

 

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