The State of California has been supporting regional climate change research for more than a decade. These studies have complemented research at the national level and have been designed to inform climate policy deliberations and actions in California. This Research Catalog provides basic information about past and ongoing climate change related studies that state agencies have conducted or commissioned since the early 2000s. The purpose of this catalog is to document California’s research efforts and to facilitate the exchange of information.
To find out more about these projects, please click here to obtain contact information for representatives from different state agencies.
Adaptation options for California's natural and managed ecosystems
Lead Agency: CEC
Principal Investigator(s): David Ackerly (Uc Berkeley), Craig Moritz (Uc Berkeley), Max Moritz (Uc Berkeley), Jim Thorne (Uc Davis), Erika Zavaleta (Uc Santa Cruz), Lee Hannah (Uc Santa Barbara), Peter Moyle (Uc Davis), Anthony Westerling (Uc Merced) And Louise Jackson (Uc Davis),
(The Regents of the University of California/CIEE)
Year finished: 2013, Budget: $1,257,586
This study proposes to use current scientific models on the geographical distribution of species, wildfire and urban growth in future climates to identify vulnerable species, and ecosystems. The vulnerability analyses conducted in this study will help to identify strategies to ameliorate the negative effects of climate change and provide adaptation strategies at a regional level.
This place‐based case study in an agricultural county in California’s Central Valley focused on the period of 2010–2050, and dealt with biophysical and socioeconomic issues related to both mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to adaptation to an uncertain climate. In the past 100 years, changes in crop acreage has been more related to crop price and availability of irrigation water than to growing degree days during summer, and in fact, summer temperatures have increased less than winter temperatures. Econometric analysis indicated that warmer winters, as projected by Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory‐Bias Corrected Constructed Analog during 2035–2050, could result in less wheat acreage, more alfalfa and tomato acreage, and slight effects on tree and vine crops. The Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model showed that these econometric projections did not reduce irrigation demand under either the B1 or A2 scenarios, but a diverse, water‐efficient cropping pattern combined with improved irrigation technology reduced demand to 12 percent below the historic mean. Collaboration during development of Yolo County’s Climate Action Plan showed that nitrous oxide (mainly from nitrogen fertilizers) was the main source (≅40 percent) of agricultural emissions. Emissions from cropland and rangeland were several orders of magnitude lower than urbanized land per unit area. A survey distributed to 570 farmers and ranchers achieved a 34 percent response rate. Farmers concerned about climate change were more likely to implement water conservation practices, and adopt voluntary GHG mitigation practices. Use of the urban growth model (UPlan) showed that channeling much or all future urban development into existing urban areas will increase ecosystem services by preserving agricultural land and open space, immensely reducing the Yolo County’s GHG emissions, and greatly enhancing agricultural sustainability. 500-09-009
Climate change is causing shifts in species’ ranges and the timing of biological events worldwide. These biological events coupled with extensive physical alterations form part of the evidence base for human‐induced climate change. These changes cause fundamental challenges to biological systems that affect conservation and management systems, posing threats including changes in fire regimes and extinction risk. A new generation of research tools is emerging to help improve the understanding of these threats and how to handle them. Researchers are developing tools to better understand system dynamics and the possible effects of micro‐climates and fine‐scale changes. These tools represent significant advances over first‐generation climate change biology models, which were generally static and coarse scale (tens to hundreds of kilometers). This report summarized progress made in developing three new types of tools for dynamic and fine‐scale biological modeling. Fine‐scale models were developed on scales of tens of meters for the first time for California plant species. These models were tested against models at scales of hundreds of meters and kilometers and significant differences were detected. A conservation planning tool known as Network Flow analysis was refined to run using large numbers of species, allowing identification of important conservation areas taking into consideration more than 1,000 native California plant species. A dynamic modeling tool called BioMove was further enhanced to simulate California fire regimes. These advances helped provide tools for California’s conservationists and land managers to plan for climate change. They were made publicly available on a website, allowing easy access for professionals wishing to learn how to use them or to access the thousands of plant species distribution models that were prepared for use with these tools. 500-08-020
This report, an analysis of climate effects on agicultural systems, is a supplemental report to the main PIER-funded report that is an attachment to the Climate Action Team Report to the Governor and Legislature.
An Analysis of Simulated California Climate Using Multiple Dynamical and Statistical Techniques
Lead Agency: CEC in collaboration with CAT, Resources
Principal Investigator(s): Norm Miller, Lisa Sloan, Kanamitsu, And Phil Duffy
(LBNL, UC Santa Cruz, Scripps, and LLNL)
Year finished: 2009, Budget: $930,000
Published/Product: http://energy.ca.gov/publications/displayOneReport.php?pubNum=CEC-500-2009-017-F Notes
Enhances dynamic regional climate models and compares them with observation to discover any biases before these models are used to develop probabilistic climate projections for CA
This report, an assessment of future CO2 and climate impacts on agriculture, is a supplemental report to the main PIER-funded report that is an attachment to the Climate Action Team Report to the Governor and Legislature.
This study utilizes spatially explicit GIS data on soils, climate, potential forest type, and current rangeland types and forest/rangeland management combined with two soil biogeochemical process models: Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) and Forest-DNDC.
Certain renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, can use large areas of land and may have ecological impacts that must be mitgated, for example, setting aside other areas of similar ecological importance. Current analyses assume that historical distribution of species can inform the selection of the mitigation areas. However, climate change invalidates this assumption. For this reason, ecological impacts and mitigation efforts should consider how climate change will affect the distrubtion of flora and fauna. Scientists expect ranges of many species to shift dramatically with future climate change. Long‐term range shifts and species colonization and extinction (turnover) events are best understood by comparing historical surveys to modern surveys. The authors used mean annual temperature and annual precipitation data to test for effects of climate change and land use change over the last 100 years on the distribution patterns of 100 breeding bird species, primarily songbirds. Joseph Grinnell and colleagues first surveyed sites along a 1,000 km north‐south transect in the California Coast Ranges between 1911 and 1940. The authors resurveyed 70 of these sites for this project in 2009 and 2010. Occupancy models were used to estimate detectability and sitelevel measures of occupancy, colonization, and extinction between the two survey periods. With a better understanding of sensitivity of birds to climate change and land‐use, wildlife managers and energy industry planners will effectively know which indicators to consider when planning for the preservation of birds and locating power generation facilities. Advanced planning for conservation areas will help energy providers site new facilities more quickly and economically, as well as decrease negative impacts on California’s wildlife. PIR-08-001