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.
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 study will provide information to help local governments better evaluate the potential economic impacts of smart growth policies, plans and projects. Existing examples of such analysis are limited. The goal of the proposed research is to develop and systematically apply a complete, objective, and reliable framework of benefit-cost analysis, including both financial and non-financial metrics, to a series of smart growth case studies specific to California. Results will assist local agencies’ decisions in the land use and transportation planning process and development of sustainable communities strategies needed to meet the goals of SB 375.
THE PROPOSED RESEARCH WOULD PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS TO IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES STRATEGIES DEVELOPED UNDER SB 375. THE PROJECT WOULD IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY ECONOMIC BENEFITS AND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SPECIFIC SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES, INCLUDING IMPACTS ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, COMMUNITIES, AND INDIVIDUALS. THE FOLLOWING STEPS WILL BE TAKEN TO ACHIEVE PROJECT GOALS: A. DEFINE SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES. CONDUCT FOCUSED REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE THAT IDENTIFIES AND QUANTIFIES RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS. IDENTIFY VALID, PORTABLE METHODS OF ASSESSING THE BENEFITS AND COSTS OF SPECIFIC SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES. B. IN INTERVIEWS WITH LOCAL AND REGIONAL LAND-USE AND TRANSPORTATION POLICY-MAKERS AND OTHER DOMAIN EXPERTS, IDENTIFY KEY SMART GROWTH IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES, DATA SOURCES FOR BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS, AND CRITERIA FOR CASE STUDY SELECTION. WITH ARB APPROVAL, SELECT CASES FOR STUDY. C. PERFORM 4-6 CASE STUDIES OF COMPLETED SMART GROWTH PROJECTS IN CALIFORNIA, PROVIDING QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF BENEFITS AND COSTS, INCLUDING BOTH MARKET GOODS AND NON-MARKET GOODS, (SUCH AS ENVIRONMENTAL CO-BENEFITS). SOME CASE STUDIES MAY EVALUATE POTENTIAL APPROACHES TO MITIGATION DESIGNED TO MAXIMIZE BENEFITS BY INCENTIVIZING KEY ACTORS. INVESTIGATORS WILL ANALYZE CASES WITH THE WIDEST POSSIBLE APPLICABILITY TO CALIFORNIA’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKERS. D. PRODUCE AND PRESENT A FINAL REPORT ON RESEARCH FINDINGS AND METHODS. THE FINAL REPORT WILL DRAW ON INTERMEDIATE DELIVERABLES AND WILL ASSIST ARB AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO SUCCESSFULLY DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES (“SMART GROWTH”) STRATEGIES BY IDENTIFYING THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES ARE LIKELY TO HAVE NET BENEFITS, AND THE LESSONS OF THEIR IMPLEMENTATION.
The objective is to analyze biomass and biogas resources and their integration into local fuel infrastructure in both urban and rural/agricultural environments, to determine the associated emissions of GHG and criteria pollutants, and to evaluate the potential air quality co-benefits of biomass and biogas use.
CONTRACTOR SHALL EVALUATE THE POTENTIAL AND CONSTRAINTS OF CARBON-NEUTRAL ELECTRICITY AND VEHICLE FUEL (HYDROGEN, BIOGAS) SUPPLY, BASED UPON REGIONAL RENEWABLE BIO-RESOURCES. TO PROVIDE A RANGE OF RENEWABLE BIO-RESOURCES, CONTRACTOR WILL FOCUS ON TWO DISTINCT REGIONS: THE SOUTH COAST AIR BASIN, AND SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY. CONTRACTOR WILL ANALYZE BIOMASS RESOURCES AND THEIR INTEGRATION IN LOCAL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE IN THOSE REGIONS, DETERMINE NET EMISSIONS OF GREENHOUSE GASES AND CRITERIA POLLUTANTS, AND DETERMINE RESULTING AIR QUALITY IMPACTS.
ATMOSPHERIC INVERSE MODELING METHODS OFFER THE POTENTIAL TO ACCURATELY QUANTIFY CURRENT GHG EMISSIONS AND FUTURE REDUCTIONS, REDUCING UNCERTAINTY IN INVENTORY ESTIMATES. LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY (LBNL) WILL EMPLOY INVERSE MODELING BY COMPARING MEASURED AND PREDICTED ATMOSPHERIC GHG CONCENTRATIONS IN AN ANALYSIS THAT EXPLICITLY CONSIDERS SOURCES OF ERROR. SPECIFICALLY, LBNL WILL 1) CONTINUE AND EXTEND GHG MEASUREMENTS AT EXISTING LBNL MEASUREMENT SITES, 2) IMPLEMENT GHG MEASUREMENTS AT A NEW SITE THAT SAMPLES AIR REPRESENTATIVE OF THE RIVERSIDE AND SAN BERNADINO REGIONS, AND 3) APPLY AN INVERSE MODELING FRAMEWORK TO ESTIMATE GHG EMISSIONS FROM THE MAJOR EMISSION REGIONS OF CA. THIS FOCUSED RESEARCH WILL ENABLE CARB TO 1) CONTINUE AND INTEGRATE MEASUREMENTS OF THE FULL-SUITE OF GHGS (CO2, METHANE, NITROUS OXIDE, AND HIGH GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL GASES) AT THE SUTRO TOWER AND WALNUT GROVE SITES INTO THE CARB NETWORK, 2) EXPAND THE CARB MEASUREMENT NETWORK TO COMPREHENSIVELY SAMPLE GHG EMISSION SOURCES IN THE SOUTH COAST AIR BASIN, AND 3) CONDUCT COMPREHENSIVE INVERSE MODELING TO QUANTIFY CA’S CURRENT GHG EMISSIONS USING THE COMBINED MEASUREMENT ASSETS AVAILABLE FOR CA. THE PRODUCTS WILL BE A RIGOROUSLY DEFENSIBLE ESTIMATE OF ANNUAL TOTAL ANTHROPOGENIC GHG EMISSIONS AND A MEASUREMENT AND MODELING SYSTEM CAPABLE OF CONTINUING THOSE ESTIMATES INTO THE FUTURE.
Atmospheric Measurements and Modeling for Verification of AB-32 Mandated GHG Emissions Reductions
Lead Agency: CEC
Principal Investigator(s): Fischer, Marc
(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Year finished: 2012, Budget: $505,000
Ongoing research in the measurement of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at two towers: Sutro Tower in San Francisco and the Walnut Grove Tower south of Sacramento to assess the accuracy of existing emission estimates.
The specific objectives of the study are to: 1. Determine the extent to which the use of high efficiency in-duct filtration and high efficiency portable air cleaners in homes of children with moderate to severe asthma reduce their indoor exposures to ambient and indoor PM, UFP, and ozone. 2. Determine the extent to which the use of high efficiency in-duct filtration and high efficiency portable air cleaners in their homes reduces the children’s asthma symptoms, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, use of rescue inhalers, missed school days due to asthma, and other measures of asthma reduction. 3. In the course of obtaining data to meet the above objectives, measure the current indoor, outdoor and personal exposures of children with asthma to PM, UFP and ozone.