California’s Fifth Climate Change Assessment's (Fifth Assessment) has identified 26 topics that the Fifth Assessment’s original climate research will investigate. The Fifth Assessment is implemented by an interagency team, including the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Strategic Growth Council, California Natural Resources Agency, and California Energy Commission.
The Fifth Assessment’s interagency team will lead competitive research funding programs to address California-specific research gaps related to climate change impacts and adaptation. To inform the scope of this research, the Fifth Assessment’s interagency team has identified a list of research topics that align with the State’s climate change and equity goals. To develop this shortlist of topics, the Fifth Assessment team conducted a robust research gap identification process throughout 2022 to gather and incorporate input from the public, experts, tribes, and State agencies.
Highlights of the Fifth Assessment Team’s 2022 Research Gap Identification Process:
- A public survey and a survey of State agencies garnered approximately 150 responses, over 600 suggested core climate change research topics, and nearly 100 references to existing scientific literature and research gap assessments.
- 5 expert roundtable discussions were held to review potential research topics across 6 categories and align potential topics with the best available science. Experts represented academic and science institutions, community-based organizations, non-government organizations, tribal communities, and local governments.
- Over 35 State agencies, departments, and offices reviewed the research topics and provided input on how to align the research topics with the State’s research, climate change, and equity priorities.
- Government to government consultations, listening sessions, and workshops with California Native American tribes were held to represent tribal perspectives in the research topics and inform the Fifth Assessment Tribal Research Program
Topics considering climate mitigation, such as greenhouse gas sequestration and emissions reduction, were not considered to fall within the Fifth Assessment scope with the exception of topics that maintained overlapping themes that addressed both mitigation and adaptation priorities. In these cases, such topics were selected based on coordination with other State agencies to align with existing State research efforts. State agencies to align future and existing State research efforts.
The input gathered during the research gap identification process not only informed the selection of the 26 research topics but will also inform other Fifth Assessment efforts, including the Regional Synthesis Reports, tools development, Statewide Topical Synthesis Reports, the Tribal Research Program, and a Statewide Summary. The Fifth Assessment team will continue engaging with the partners involved in the research gap identification process as well as more broadly with communities throughout the State in 2023 and beyond to shape the research and outcomes of the Fifth Assessment.