(Golden Gate Tide Guage)
New Studies Predict Extreme Heat and Increased Sea-Level Rise
This month, two new studies were released updating and refining forecasts of sea-level rise and extreme heat events for parts of California.
NRC Study of Sea-Level Rise
The National Research Council (NRC), research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, announced a study projecting sea level along the populous parts of the California coast to rise more than previously estimated, i.e., up to a 1.66-meter increase by 2100 south of Cape Mendocino (compared to sea level in 2000). The most widely reported previous estimate was an increase of up to 1.4 meters by the end of the century. (See the 2009 study by the Pacific Institute, California Energy Commission, CalEPA, and others here.) The NRC study used a more detailed approach, considering regional factors influencing sea-level rise, such as location of melting ice (in Alaska) and land subsidence from tectonic forces. Although not included in the projections, the study also recognized the potential for greater sea-level rise in response to episodic land subsidence from a major earthquake. The California Department of Water Resources commissioned the NRC study as one of the actions authorized by Executive Order S-13-08, signed by then Governor Schwarzenegger, to help define planning parameters for climate resilience. Consistent with copyright requirements, please access the study (pre-publication version) directly at the NRC’s website (click here or on the cover image below for the link).
UCLA Study of Extreme Heat in Los Angeles
The University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) Institute of the Environment and Sustainability published a study examining surface temperature expected in the Los Angeles region by mid-century (2041 - 2060), with a focus on the number of extreme heat days (95 degrees F plus). Commissioned by the City of Los Angeles, the study forecasted substantial warming throughout the Los Angeles region with a contrast between the inland and coastal zones. Using a combination of modeling techniques, UCLA estimated temperatures within 2.0 square-kilometer (1.2 square-mile) areas. Coastal locations and areas within the Los Angeles basin would experience two to three times the number of extremely hot days, while inland areas separated from the coast by at least one set of mountains would typically experience three to five times the number of extremely hot days. Also, the UCLA study predicted that new high temperature records would be set during some of those extremely hot days. A copy of the study can be accessed here, on the cover image below, or at www.c-change.la.
These studies reflect an ongoing trend of improving, predictive information that can assist California communities with planning for climate adaptation and resilience. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Curtis E. Alling, AICP (916.930.3181), or Honey Walters (916.930.3184), principals of Ascent Environmental, Inc.
(UCLA Study and NRC Study)
Ascent Environmental, Inc. is a forward-looking environmental and natural resources consultancy. We apply our extensive climate action planning, natural resources, CEQA, and NEPA experience in our environmental practice with the goal of providing personal service and high quality results to our clients on their most important projects.
Ascent Environmental, Inc.
455 Capitol Mall, Suite 205
, CA 95814
Main: (916) 444-730
Curtis Alling: (916) 930-3181
Honey Walters: (916) 930-3184