State releases climate change adaptation plan
California is the first state in the nation to release a comprehensive plan to guide adaptation to climate change. The Climate Adaptation Strategy Report summarizes the latest science on how climate change could impact the state and what we should do to manage these impacts.
The country's longest continuously operating gauge of sea level, at Fort Point in San Francisco Bay, recorded a seven-inch rise in sea level over the 20th century. That rise is expected to greatly accelerate in the present century.
How will climate change affect California? With rising temperatures wildlands fires will become more virulent and more frequent, water supplies will shrink, and almost half a million people will be threatened by sea level rise. The projected replacement value of property from sea level rise and related storm events could reach a billion dollars in Santa Cruz County, $10 billion in San Francisco and as high as $24 billion in San Mateo County.
Key recommendations of the plan include
• Appointment of a Climate Adaptation Advisory Panel to lead the adaptation process.
A supporting assessment on projected sea level rise is being prepared by the California Resources Agency. This report, which will take into account coastal erosion rates, local uplift and subsidence, tidal impacts and other factors, will be available in December 2010. For more information visit www.climatechange.ca.gov/adaptation.