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.
The objective of this research project is to collect and analyze longitudinal and spatial in-use vehicle data from households that own PEVs. A wide array of data will be collected from all vehicles within the households – both PEV and non-PEV – in order to improve emissions estimates at the vehicle, household, and fleet levels. The data will also be used to inform potential demand on the electrical grid as well as the need for potential future supporting infrastructure.
The objective of this project is to investigate the emissions of low vapor pressure volatile organic compounds from consumer products and their impacts on air quality. It is designed to evaluate the evaporation flux, and therefore atmospheric availability, of specific LVP-VOCs both as pure compounds and in consumer products sold in California. The project will also evaluate the ozone and secondary particle formation of these compounds once they enter the atmosphere using a state-of-the-science environmental chamber.
This study investigated the carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emission rates from agricultural operations (corn production) on peat soils in the Sacramento‐San Joaquin Delta. Baseline data were obtained at, and comparisons made between, two representative corn fields on Staten Island in San Joaquin County, California with different winter management techniques: leaving the field fallow, or dormant, and intentional winter flooding. The baseline data will inform future projects designed to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Delta, which may result in low cost offsets for energy utilities that are part of the Cap‐and‐ Trade program. Winter flooding is used by land managers to reduce erosion, improve soil texture, and provide habitat for water fowl, but may also lead to higher production rates of CH4, with an accompanying increase in the global warming potential of the total emissions. High winter GHG fluxes were measured at the flooded and non‐flooded‐treatment sites, with the measured CH4 flux at the flooded site an order of magnitude greater than the non‐flooded site and high in comparison to other published studies from similar environments. During the flooding period, the peat soils CO2 fluxes were reduced, consistent with the management goal of reducing oxidative loss of soil organic material. On an annual basis, the CO2 emitted from the two treatments was similar; however, the relative timing of CO2 fluxes differed, with the flooded‐treatment site having lower fluxes during the flooded period and higher fluxes during the non‐flooded period (particularly during the transitional period following flooding). Soil temperature was the most significant driver for both CH4 and CO2 fluxes, and the data suggests that CH4 emission levels of the flooded treatment might be lowered by altering the timing of flooding. This study highlights the importance of understanding how Delta agricultural land and water management can affect GHG emissions. 500-09-012
The objective of this study is to investigate the atherosclerotic potential of ambient PM2.5 from the Irvine, California area. Both intact particles and particles denuded of the semi volatile constituents of PM2.5 will be used with and without concurrent exposure to ozone in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. The principal goals are to elucidate the role of the semi-volatile components of PM2.5 and ozone in the progression of atherosclerosis, and the extent to which concomitant ozone exposure interacts with disease progression.
Climate Monitoring, Analysis, and Modeling - Phase V
Lead Agency: CEC
Principal Investigator(s): Cayan, Dan
(Scripps Institution of Oceanography - UC San Diego)
Year finished: 2013, Budget: $1,200,000
Scripps will improve the measurement of climate conditions in California by adding snow, soil moisture, and radiation sensors to existing meteorological stations installed with prior PIER funding. Scripps will continue archiving historical climate data for California and making the data sets available to the research community, governmental agencies, utilities, and other entities. Scripps will also support the preparation of climate trend analyses reported in multiple publications such as the Indicators of Climate Change in California. The researchers will contribute to the dissemination of climate trend analyses for California via the Cal-Adapt website.
The objective of this study is to examine a hypothesized mechanistic pathway for the cardiovascular effects of ozone and PM2.5, and to examine whether the effects of co exposure to these pollutants are additive or synergistic in laboratory animals.
Considering Climate Change in Hydropower Relicensing
Lead Agency: CEC
Principal Investigator(s): Viers, Joshua
(The Regents of the University of California, Davis)
Year finished: 2013, Budget: $299,970
Researchers will conduct a climate change environmental study for the Yuba River Development Project, which has a capacity to generate 362 megawatts of electricity. A new license for the project will be filed by 2014 and presumably will last up to 50 years, which is a timeframe in which climate change must be considered. Some of the innovative research approaches to be implemented for this project include: modeling hydropower/water supply/recreation conditions in weekly time steps instead of the monthly steps used in prior studies; analysis of potential downstream ecological effects; and estimation of potential effects of increased thermal stratification in the reservoirs on ecology and discharge water temperatures. Finally, this study will use the climate scenarios developed for the PIER program and investigate alternative management scenarios that regulators may consider during the relicensing process.
Data Collection and Analysis of the Factors Affecting High-Elevation Precipitation Regimes in California
Lead Agency: CEC
Principal Investigator(s): Prather, Kimberley
(UC San Diego)
Year finished: 2013, Budget: $1,300,000
2011 CalWater field study to investigate how particles affect our climate and precipitation levels in the Sierra Nevada
Deforestation events occurring daily around California are poorly accounted under current greenhouse gas emission monitoring systems and there is no standard methodology for tracking these emissions. The significance of small-scale development as a source of greenhouse gases is therefore currently unknown. This report summarized the research conducted over three years to improve estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from small-scale development in California. The research included a spatial analysis, development of emission factors and an estimate of emissions from developments across four study areas, and an analysis of the economic impacts of deforestation for development. The report provided an overview of existing policy and recommendations for additional policy action that could address emissions from development. Recommendations were focused on four potential policy options: promoting appropriate locations for development, including infill and urban growth boundaries; reducing tree removal through cluster developments; incentive programs; and revising the timberland conversion process. Additionally, the report analyzed the potential for developing a carbon offset project methodology for reduced emissions from conversion for development.