Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerabilities, and Adaptation in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Synthesis of PIER Program Reports and Other Relevant Research
This paper synthesizes San Francisco Bay Area-focused findings from research conducted in 2010–2012 as part of the state’s Vulnerability and Adaptation study sponsored by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. Historical observations of changes already evident are summarized, as well as projections of future changes in climate based on modeling studies using various plausible scenarios of how emissions of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere may change. Studies synthesized here show how these climate changes increase risks to society and natural ecosystems in a number of ways. Sectors for which impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation options are presented include water, agriculture, energy supply and demand, transportation, ecosystems, public health, wildfire, and coastal resources. Results show that depending on the vulnerability of human and natural communities, and their abilities to respond to these growing risks through adaptive changes, the San Francisco Bay Area could experience either significant impacts or maintain its resilience in the face of a rapidly changing environment.