California is a global leader in using, investing in, and advancing research to set proactive climate change policy, and its Climate Change Assessments provide the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related risks and resilience actions at the local scale. California’s Climate Change Assessments directly inform State policies, plans, programs, and guidance to promote effective and integrated action to safeguard California in a changing climate.
The recently released Fourth Climate Assessment incorporates chapters on statewide issues including a chapter on ocean and coastal issues. This first-of-its-kind chapter includes a greater focus on moving towards implementation of adaptation actions, rather than simply further describing the intensity and severity of the harm. This matters because coastal resources will continue to be increasingly vulnerable with rising sea levels and more damaging storms.
“This chapter includes reflections on what we as a practitioner community have learned from adaptation planning over the past decade. The increasing rate of change requires that we develop decision-making processes that are up to the pace of the challenge,” explained Eric Hartge, one of the report’s lead authors and research manager with the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions.
This report synthesizes current scientific understanding about the impacts of climate change on California’s coast and ocean and presents a forward-looking summary of challenges and opportunities for the future.