Cal-adapt is a web-based climate adaptation planning tool. Cal-adapt allows the user to identify potential climate change risks in specific geographic areas throughout the state. Users can either query by location, or click on an interactive map to explore what climate impacts are projected to occur in their area of interest.
Cal-adapt synthesizes volumes of existing downscaled climate change scenarios and climate impact research and presents it in an easily available, graphical layout that is intended to benefit local planning efforts. The source data used within the tool are available for download, as well as further information including research organizations that have developed the data, and relevant scientific publications.
Cal-adapt is not a comprehensive resource in finding climate impacts to specific areas. If there are vulnerability studies specific to your area (the Bay Area will soon have one, for example), they should be consulted. These are not forecasts - they are potential scenarios based on downscaled IPCC models to describe how climate may evolve in California.
Cal-adapt is, however, and excellent tool for starting the discussion to take action in response to climate change, offering a preliminary rendering of the extent of climate projections and impacts, and serving as a starting point for adaptation planning. You can even download supporting data directly from the website. If a locality wants to get more detailed information, a list of the specific studies supporting Cal-Adapt can be referenced.
The immediate and convenient accessibility to climate impacts supported by the latest research (downscaled to CA's geography) allows planners to obtain knowledge of potential climate impacts in their area, and subsequently determine the vulnerabilities to those impacts. Once those vulnerabilities are identified, strategies can be developed to prepare for and respond to the impacts.
The state developed Cal-Adapt to provide CA communities with some of the tools and information needed to begin planning for climate impacts. The planning process truly begins once climate impacts and vulnerabilities are known, and this tool provides a convenient and effective way to explore this.
While Cal-Adapt is targeted to communities just starting a climate planning process, the information can be helpful for those communities that have either begun or have already completed a climate adaptation strategy, as the data sources of this tool will be routinely updated.
How can I find out more about new features and data sets that are planned to be added to Cal-Adapt?
Visit our What's to come? page to learn more about new features and data sets that are expected to be added to the site.