Climate Change Adaptation Resources

General resources:

Mark Hertsgaard’s book Hot: Living through the Next Fifty Years on Earth is what really opened my eyes to the subject of climate change adaptation. Highly recommended. I have several copies I’ve been loaning out to people; let me know if you want one. An excerpt from Chapter 4, which deals with adaptation efforts in King County, Washington, is available in this article: Why Seattle Will Stay Dry When Your City Floods.

Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments (PDF) is a handbook that grew out of the King County adaptation effort. It has a lot of really good, practical advice on developing and implementing a local adaptation strategy.

The California Climate Adaptation Strategy (PDF) is a state report that was published in 2009. It describes the impacts Californians can expect to experience on a statewide level, along with guidelines for adaptation. It’s pretty general, but it’s a start.

A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation (PDF) – A 2010 paper analyzing how and why government decisionmakers (among others) resist taking action on adaptation, and how that resistance might be overcome. It’s preliminary, but looks really interesting.

Preparing for the Effects of Climate Change – A Strategy for California (PDF) – A 2010 report by Susanne Moser published by the Pacific Council on International Policy.

The Future Is Now: An Update on Climate Change Science Impacts and Response Options for California (PDF) – A 2009 report prepared for Public Interest Energy Research (PIER), California Energy Commission.

Sea level rise:

Is California Preparing for Sea-level Rise? (PDF) – A 2007 article from California Coast & Ocean that describes the results of a survey of coastal resource managers. Mike Wondolowski forwarded this article to me, which is how I first came across Susanne Moser.

The Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on the California Coast (PDF) – 2009 report by The Pacific Institute.

The Economic Costs of Sea-Level Rise to California Beach Communities (PDF) – a 2011 study commissioned by the state Department of Boating and Waterways, conducted by economists at San Francisco State University. The study forecasts the economic impact of sea level rise on five communities: Ocean Beach in San Francisco; Venice Beach and Malibu in Los Angeles; Carpinteria; and Torrey Pines State Reserve in San Diego County.

California Coastal Development Commission considers rising seas – interview about the process that the CCDC went through recently to incorporate sea-level rise into the planning process for development around San Francisco Bay. See also the official report on the plan amendment: Climate Change Bay Plan Amendment.

Scientists say rising sea level threatens local beaches, Oceanside harbor – an article from the North County Times (of San Diego County) by reporter Deborah Sullivan Brennan.

Water supplies:

Managing an Uncertain Future: Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for California’s Water (PDF) – 2008 report by the California Department of Water Resources.

Using Future Climate Projections to Support Water Resources Decision Making in California (PDF) – 2009 report by the California Department of Water Resources.

Roadmap for Sustainable Water Resources in Southwestern North America (PDF) – 2010 PNAS paper by Peter Gleick.

Carpinteria Groundwater Basin Annual Report for 2010 (PDF) – The latest report prepared for the Carpinteria Valley Water District on the state of the valley’s groundwater.

Other localities:

Chula Vista: Climate Action Plan. Lots of documents that describe in detail the process Chula Vista went through in developing its climate adaptation strategy.

Newport Beach: Coastal cities prepare for rising sea levels – LA Times article from March 6, 2011, describing Newport Beach’s efforts to plan for sea level rise at Balboa Island. Sea level rise? Newport gets ready – OC Register article from March 10, 2011.

San Diego: San Diego’s Changing Climate: A Regional Wake-up Call (PDF) – 2008 report by the San Diego Foundation outlining projected climate change impacts as of 2050.

San Luis Obispo: Developing adaptation strategies for San Luis Obispo County: Preliminary Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (PDF) – May, 2010 report.

Note: Thanks to Jennifer Chase, who pointed out some broken links on the page, and who requested links to some organizations she’s involved with (even though they’re not focused on climate-change adaptation specifically):, which raises awareness on the environmental impact of tobacco companies and products, and the Nature Conservancy, which also promotes environmental responsibility through education and awareness.