Keywords:climate change, hydropower, infrastructure, science management, sea level rise, storage
Over the past century, sea level has risen nearly eight inches along the California coast, and general circulation model scenarios suggest very substantial...
Over the past century, sea level has risen nearly eight inches along the California coast, and general circulation model scenarios suggest very substantial increases in sea level as a significant impact of climate change over the coming century. This study includes a detailed analysis of the current population, infrastructure, and property along the San Francisco Bay that are at risk from projected sea level rise if no actions are taken to protect the coast. The sea level rise scenario was developed by the State of California from medium to high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but does not reflect the worst?case sea level rise that could occur. If development continues in the areas at risk, all of these estimates will rise. No matter what policies are implemented in the future, sea level rise will inevitably change the character of the San Francisco Bay.
We estimate that a 1.0 meter (m) sea level rise will put 220,000 people at risk of a 100?year flood event, given today’s population. With a 1.4 m increase in sea levels, the number of people at risk of a 100?year flood event would rise to 270,000. Among those affected are large numbers of low?income people and communities of color, which are especially vulnerable. Critical infrastructure, such as roads, hospitals, schools, emergency facilities, wastewater treatment plants, power plants, and more will be at increased risk of inundation, as will vast areas of wetlands and other natural ecosystems. In addition, the cost of replacing property at risk of coastal flooding with a 1.0 m rise in sea levels is $49 billion (in year 2000 dollars). A rise of 1.4 m would increase the replacement cost to $62 billion (in year 2000 dollars). Continued development in vulnerable areas will put additional areas at risk and raise protection costs. A number of structural and non?structural policies and actions, which are described qualitatively, could be implemented to reduce these risks.
Huge flows of vapor in the atmosphere, dubbed “atmospheric rivers,” have unleashed massive floods every 200 years, and climate change could bring more...
Huge flows of vapor in the atmosphere, dubbed “atmospheric rivers,” have unleashed massive floods every 200 years, and climate change could bring more of them.
State government, which guided California through the instability of the Great Depression, managed the profound disruptions of World War II and steered, during...
State government, which guided California through the instability of the Great Depression, managed the profound disruptions of World War II and steered, during following decades, one of the nation’s great population, development and innovation booms, faces again an historic governing challenge in climate change.
A $2 trillion annual economy and the needs of nearly 40 million residents ride on the outcome of the state’s preparations and response. Climate change, which most scientists believe has already begun, promises decades of wilder weather and great uncertainty regarding the scale of annual precipitation, wildfire activity, sea level rise and daily temperatures. These changes have powerful implications for agricultural production, air quality, real estate values, electricity generation, public health and California’s renowned quality of life.
Climate change is already affecting California. Sea levels have risen by as much as seven inches along the California coast over the last...
Climate change is already affecting California. Sea levels have risen by as much as seven inches along the California coast over the last century, increasing erosion and pressure on the state’s infrastructure, water supplies, and natural resources. The state has also seen increased average temperatures, more extreme hot days, fewer cold nights, a lengthening of the growing season, shifts in the water cycle with less winter precipitation falling as snow, and both snowmelt and rainwater running off sooner in the year.
These climate driven changes affect resources critical to the health and prosperity of California. For example, forest wildland fires are becoming more frequent and intense due to dry seasons that start earlier and end later. The state’s water supply, already stressed under current demands and expected population growth, will shrink under even the most conservative climate change scenario. Almost half a million Californians, many without the means to adjust to expected impacts, will be at risk from sea level rise along bay and coastal areas.
California’s infrastructure is already stressed and will face additional burdens from climate risks. And as the Central Valley becomes more urbanized, more people will be at risk from intense heat waves.