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Projected Future Climatic and Ecological Conditions in San Luis Obispo County

Marni Koopman, Richard S. Nauman, and Jessica L. Leonard
Created: 4/29/2010 - Updated: 3/13/2019


San Luis Obispo County is rich in history, culture, and biological diversity. The county extends from semi‐desert in the east, across the Santa Lucia Mountains, through the rolling hills and oak woodlands and finally to the rugged coastline along the western border. Changes to this landscape due to climate change are likely to affect natural ecosystems as well as local residents and their livelihoods.

Climatic changes are already underway across the County and are likely to increase in the coming decades. Changes to the local climate are likely to include more frequent and intense storms and floods, extended drought, increased wildfire, and more heat waves. The local communities in the County will need to plan for such changes in order to prevent potentially catastrophic consequences.

This report provides community members and decision‐makers in San Luis Obispo County with local climate change projections that are presented in a way that can help them make educated long‐term planning decisions. The climate change model outputs in this report were obtained from the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and mapped by scientists at the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy.

Published On

Friday, April 30, 2010


Community / Local
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate future conditions into natural resources planning and policies
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Governance and Policy
Climate Type: 

Related Resources

Climate Change Adaptation Planning in San Luis Obispo County

Photo attributed to Eric Shalov. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Disaster Risk Management
Land Use Planning
Public Health
Tourism / Recreation
Transportation / Infrastructure
Water Resources

Climate change is likely to affect natural and human systems in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County including impacts to agriculture, human health, natural resources, infrastructure, emergency response needs, and tourism.

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