Climate Adaptation Science

Understanding when and where climate changes will occur is critical to adaptation. California scientists have led the way in researching, mapping and analyzing impacts on climate change as well as ways to reduce and protect against those impacts. Continued research is needed to ensure that we protect against the most significant risks and that adaptation measures are effective.

Need for Adaptation

A significant amount of climate change is already locked in, no matter what California and other states do to reduce emissions. Climate change impacts include increasingly frequent and severe storms, floods, fires, droughts, and heat waves, sea level rise, invasive species and pests, and more. While we must reduce emissions quickly to avoid the most severe climate changes, we must also take steps to reduce the risk from changes that are already certain to occur.

Extreme Events

Governor Brown hosted an invitation-only conference at the California Academy of Sciences to focus on the impacts of extreme climate events and how best to protect California from those impacts. The conference included experts from the research, business, public health, local government, agriculture, energy, water and other sectors. Numerous complementary events were held before and after the main conference, to focus on specific issues such as emergency preparedness, public health protection and more.


Climate change will impact different regions of California in different ways. Cal-Adapt presents information about regional impacts in a graphic, easy to view format that synthesizes the most up-to-date research and data on climate change.

Research - Ongoing

Our understanding of climate change impacts and solutions continues to develop as scientists measure, monitor and model climate change impacts. Continued scientific research is necessary to develop effective adaptation measures and to provide policymakers with the data and information they need to make effective policies and regulations.

Researchers from many sectors and institutions in California are currently assessing vulnerability to different climate change impacts and developing cost-effective strategies to reduce those impacts. The results of this comprehensive vulnerability assessment will be available in spring 2012.

For other information on Adaptation Research, see: