Projected Future Climatic and Ecological Conditions in San Luis Obispo County

Richard S. Nauman, Jessica L. Leonard
Posted on: 4/29/2010 - Updated on: 3/06/2020

Posted by

Jessi Kershner



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.


Koopman, M., Nauman, R. S., & Leonard, J. L. (2010). Projected future climatic and ecological conditions in San Luis Obispo County. Ashland, Oregon: Geos Institute. Retrieved from CAKE:

Affiliated Organizations

The GEOS Institute is a nonprofit, science-based organization dedicated to helping both human and natural communities predict and prepare for a changing climate. To this end, the Geos Institute applies the best available science to natural resource conservation issues through its scientific publications and its ability to link respected scientists to decision makers.

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