Public Workshops for the 4th California Climate Change Assessment

The California Natural Resources Agency is hosting three workshops to solicit public comment and input on a proposed scope of work for the Fourth California Climate Change Assessment. 

Dates and times for the workshops are listed below: 

Friday, August 8, 2014


California Energy Commission - Hearing Room A

1516 9th Street, Sacramento, CA

Also available via WebEx 

Tues, August 12, 2014


Junipero Serra Office Building – Carmel Room

320 West Fourth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 

Wed, August 13, 2014


Milton Marks Conference Center

455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 

About the Fourth California Climate Change Assessment

The state has completed three prior climate change assessments. The first California climate change assessment (First Assessment), completed in 2006, began the work of trying to “downscale” global climate models in order to provide information about expected climate impacts at a regionally-relevant scale. Climate impacts will not be uniform across the world, and it is necessary to have climate impact information at a finer resolution (i.e. the western United States, the state of California, subregions and communities in California) in order to craft local, state and regional climate policies and solutions. The First Assessment provided support for passage of AB32 and the development of the Air Resources Board’s (ARB) 2008 Scoping Plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The second California climate change assessment (Second Assessment), completed in 2009, provided initial estimates of some of the economic impacts of expected and unfolding climate risks in the state, such as costs to coastal economies from sea level rise. Expected climate impacts will have very significant economic impacts that may be reduced with appropriate measures to reduce climate risks. The Second Assessment provided support for the state’s 2009 California Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the state’s first multi-sectoral effort to plan for climate risks.

The third California climate change assessment (Third Assessment), completed in 2012, was shaped by requests for additional information regarding state vulnerabilities to climate change, including: 1) the need to better understand institutional barriers to efforts to prepare for climate risks, 2) risks in specific sectors (water, energy, agriculture), and 3) risks at the local scale. The Third Assessment supported the development of the Safeguarding California Plan for reducing climate risk (an update to the 2009 California Climate Change Adaptation Strategy). The significant advances in climate science in the Third Assessment allowed the Safeguarding California Plan to expand and refine recommendations for reducing climate risk in California.

For more information about the state’s prior climate assessments, please see the California Climate Portal .

Climate science and knowledge about climate impacts continues to evolve and be refined, both through improvements in impact modeling and direct observations of the changing climate over time. In order to support California leadership on climate policies and actions, it is critical that California continue to invest in regionally-relevant climate science that is complementary to local, federal and international climate science efforts.

A fourth California climate change assessment (Fourth Assessment) will provide critical additional information to support decisions that will safeguard the people, economy and resources of California. Among other informational gaps about climate vulnerabilities, California still lacks critical information regarding expected climate impacts from extreme weather events (climate change not only creates new average conditions, but is also expected to create more extreme events such as more frequent and more severe wildfires, and more intense and more frequent drought); a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that a single extreme winter storm in California could cost on the order of $725 billion – with total direct property losses of nearly $400 billion, of which $20 billion to $30 billion would be recoverable through insurance, and business interruption costs of $325 billion. California also needs to better understand the scope, timing, cost and feasibility of various management options to address climate risks. Accurately understanding climate risks and management options will allow the state to prioritize actions and investments to safeguard the people, economy and natural resources of California.