Adapting to Climate Change in California

Frank W. Davis and Elizabeth A. Chornesky
Created: 2/05/2015 - Updated: 3/27/2018

Abstract

Many aspects of the Californian approach to controlling the greenhouse gases that cause climate change now have a sufficient track record to provide potential models or lessons for national and even international action. In comparison, the state's efforts on climate change adaptation, although multifaceted, are less well developed and thus far have focused largely on information sharing, impact assessments, and planning. Still, adaptation could advance more quickly in California than in many other regions, given relatively high public awareness and concern, extensive scientific information, a strong tradition of local and regional planning, and some enabling policies and institutions. Much more political support and sufficient financing will have to be mustered at state and local levels to enable new projects and initiatives to cope with sea level rise, water management, and ecosystem adaptation, not to mention public health and other key areas of concern. Even so, California's initial efforts to adapt to unavoidable changes in climate may offer insights for other governments that will, inevitably, need to fashion their own adaptation strategies.

Published On

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Keywords

Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Culture / communities
Erosion
Fire
Flooding
Flow patterns
Habitat extent
Infrastructure damage
Precipitation
Public health risks
Public safety threats
Salinization / Saltwater intrusion
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Tourism
Water quality
Water supply
Water temperature
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate future conditions into natural resources planning and policies
Capacity Building
Design or reform institutions
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Create/enhance resources and tools
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Managed retreat of built infrastructure, relocation of people/communities
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Create or modify shoreline management measures
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Climate Type: 
Temperate
Sociopolitical Setting: 
Urban
Rural
Suburban
Industrial