Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
December 13, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
For many people, 2017 is a year to wake up to climate reality. This year, people from places as diverse as Ventura and Sonoma County, Puerto Rico, Houston, Sierra Leone, and Peru have lost their homes to disasters that have been amplified and exacerbated by climate change. At the most recent UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany, 12-year-old Timoci Naulusala from Fiji , told the gathered delegates about Cyclone Winston in 2016: "My home, my school, sources of food, money, water, were totally destroyed. My once beautiful village, which I called home, is a barren waste. Climate change is real, not a dream." As we go home to spend time with friends and families, or welcome others into our own home, it's worth remembering that one of the most important things we can do for community resilience is to strengthen our social networks and the connections that sustain us all. In that spirit the CRC would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season.
California's first wintertime mega fire
Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/Getty
In the hills above the Pacific Ocean, the world crossed a terrifying threshold this week. As holiday music plays on the radio, temperatures in Southern California have soared into the 80s, and bone-dry winds have fanned a summer-like wildfire outbreak. As the largest of this week's fires skipped across Highway 101 toward the beach, rare snowflakes were falling in Houston, all made possible by a truly extreme weather pattern that's locked the jet stream into a highly amplified state. That one of California's largest and most destructive wildfires is now burning during what should be the peak of the state's rainy season should shock us into lucidity. ( Link)
Climate change is the story you missed in 2017
Photo: National Oceanic and Athmospheric/NYT
In the first nine months of 2017, the US was assailed by   15 weather and climate disasters that each did at least a billion dollars in damage. Yet analysis of hurricane coverage during the height of hurricane season on eight major US TV networks found that only about 5% mentioned climate change. Climate change can be difficult to grasp for many people, but an extreme weather event is a moment when people can see and feel climate change. When those disasters happen, media outlets have a responsibility to cover them as climate change and help the public understand the immediacy of the threat. ( Guardian)
Melting Arctic sea ice could trigger more severe California droughts
Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times
California could be hit with significantly more dangerous and more frequent droughts in the near future, according to new research led by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Rapidly melting Arctic sea ice can build up high ridges of atmospheric pressure that keep winter storms away from California, threatening to diminish the state's precipitation by 10 to 15 percent, on average, within 20 to 30 years. Such a change would have profound economic impacts in a state where the most recent drought drained several billion dollars out of the economy and severely stressed infrastructure. The decline in rainfall would be sporadic, with some years facing drops much steeper than 15%, while other years would be wetter than otherwise. ( LA Times)
These Sacramento suburban neighborhoods face the highest risk of wildfire
As the destructive Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa showed, urban and suburban areas in Northern California are susceptible to devastating blazes - and that risk extends to the densely populated communities bordering the Sierra foothills near Sacramento. More than 4,600 homes in Sacramento-area cities stand in neighborhoods where fire officials say there is a high or very high wildfire threat, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of local hazard prevention plans. They include nearly 2,000 homes in Folsom. An estimated 365,000 people in urban and suburban areas in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Lincoln, and Citrus Heights face at least a moderate threat of wildfire. CalFire is planning to update its fire risk maps, and given new modeling technology, development patterns, and climate change, some areas that have been considered low-risk may be placed in hazard zones. ( Sac Bee)
Most accurate models of climate change also predict the most warming
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
A new study compares the predictions of climate change models with current atmospheric conditions, finding that the most accurate models were also the ones that predict the most dire levels of human-driven warming. These "best" models predicted 15% more warming than the average of all the models. In particular, the most accurate models best captured cloud behavior and their effect on the earth's balance of incoming and outgoing radiation, which ultimately determines the earth's temperature. ( Washington Post)
From the Everglades to Kilimanjaro, climate change is destroying world wonders
Photo: khanbm52/Getty Images/iStockphoto
From the Everglades to the Great Barrier Reef, climate change is destroying the many of the greatest wonders of the natural world. A new International Union for Conservation of Nature report reveals that the number of natural world heritage sites being damaged and at risk from global warming has almost doubled to 62 in the past three years. Those at high risk include iconic places from the Galapagos Islands to the central Amazon and less well known but equally vibrant sites such as the karst caves of Hungary and Slovakia and the monarch butterfly reserves in Mexico. Coral reefs and glaciers are particularly affected, but wildfires, permafrost melting, and salt-water inundation are all threatening unique natural sites. ( Guardian)
A surprising ally in the battle against climate change: dirt
Photo: Ali Hashisho/Reuters
By changing farming practices, an extra 9 billion tons of greenhouse gases could be locked away in the soil, according to an international study. Carbon sequestration in soil has been under-appreciated and under-utilized, but it has vast potential. Farmers can be incentivized to use no-till agriculture, cover crops, and advance nitrogen fertilizer management practices to increase carbon storage, with a host of side benefits such as healthier soils, reduced runoff and erosion, and less nitrogen leaching. (  Christian Science Monitor)
Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet
Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images
Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans, holding four times as much carbon as all the plants and trees in the world. But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming is depleting the soil's capacity to hold carbon and degrading agricultural land. Scientists and farmers say that we can regenerate degraded soils by switching to more ecological methods - organic fertiliser, no-tillage, composting, and crop rotation. New studies claim that regenerative farming can sequester 3% and even   15% of global carbon emissions, while building agricultural resilience to drought and flooding. ( Guardian)
Tools and Resources
Union of Concerned Scientists: Integrating climate science into groundwater planning
A new white paper from the Union of Concerned Scientists, Navigating a Flood of Information is intended to help California water agencies evaluate and incorporate climate risks into their groundwater management plans. This white paper provides for water managers an overview of climate models, a framework for evaluating and comparing the various approaches to incorporating climate change into state-level water planning documents, and a four-step process to incorporate future climate projections into local Groundwater Sustainability Plans. The paper also recommends that local water agencies stress-test their plans against more extreme climate projections and consider both wetter and drier future scenarios rather than relying on historic averages or only moderate scenarios. ( UCS)
California Air Resources Board: CAP-Map
Developed by the Air Resources Board, the CAP-Map is an interactive web resource that is intended to help local governments learn more about climate action plans and climate change policies being implemented across California. The CAP-Map aggregates the climate action planning efforts of California jurisdictions, and provides a searchable database of climate action strategies. Learn more about the CAP-Map at the related webinar (see below). ( Link)
Office of Planning and Research: Planning and Investing for a Resilient California
The result of the Technical Advisory Group established under Executive Order B-30-15, this guidebook provides a framework and starting point for State agencies to integrate climate change into planning and investment. It is This guidance document is designed to inform planning and investment processes to address the two primary elements of resilience - planning for future conditions and doing planning itself differently. The document introduces a four step process and a set of resilient decision-making principles for state agencies. ( Link)
Georgetown Climate Center: Climate Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector
This report summarizes the challenges that climate change will pose to the agricultural sector and presents opportunities for promoting climate-resilient farming practices, with a focus on how state governments can play a proactive role in encouraging adaptation. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Strategic Growth Council: Climate Change Research Program - FY 2017-2018 Draft Research Investment Plan
In 2017, Assembly Bill 109 created a climate change research program within the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and allocated it $11 million in cap and trade revenues. This draft document describes how the SGC will plan to direct the $11 million in competitive grant funding to advance research to support low-income and disadvantaged communities, including equitable outcomes in the implementation of climate change policies, and to focus on research investments that build community resilience, integrated land use, and development that facilitates the transformation of communities. Comment deadline: December 15, at 5pm to ( SGC)
Submit your interest areas and session ideas for the California Adaptation Forum!
California Adaptation Forum organizers are conducting a survey to gather input on interest areas. We are also piloting a new program development process and the survey offers an opportunity for participants to submit ideas for sessions, network meetings, and workshops. Note that an open call for proposals will not be conducted and if you are interested in developing a session for the Forum, you must complete the survey, which should take no longer than 10 minutes. Forum organizers, which includes an advisory committee comprised of stakeholders representing a diversity of regions, sectors, and disciplines, will review "mini-proposals" then invite selected proposers to submit a full session proposal. Local Government Commission staff will work closely with session organizers to ensure the integration of equity and interactive components, as well as to provide overall guidance on content and structure. Deadline: December 22. ( Link)
Share your climate story with the State Adaptation Clearinghouse
Have you been working to address the threat of climate change? Are you involved in any activities that will help you or your community adapt to change? Have you made changes to your personal life or work? Tell us your story and personal response to climate change! The UC California Naturalist Program and the Governor's Office of Planning and Research are working together to collect and populate stories for California's new State Adaptation Clearinghouse , which will guide decision makers in planning and implementing climate adaptation projects. The goal is to capture authentic experiences of all Californians as they deal with a changing climate and share the diversity of people, places, and issues that make climate stories inherently unique and at the same time universal.  Please share your climate adaption story in 500 words or less along with photos, video, or sound recordings by Friday, December 22, 2017. ( Link )
Apply to serve on the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group for the CPUC and CEC
The California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission are seeking applications from interested persons to serve on the Senate Bill 350 Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group (Advisory Group). This new Advisory Group will review and provide advice on state programs proposed to achieve clean energy and pollution reduction. Applications due to by December 22, 2017. ( Link )
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program - Planning Subapplications for 2017 Winter Storms
The Governor's Office of Emergency Services invites Planning Subapplications for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding that is available as the result of Presidential Disaster Declarations for the severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides that affected California in 2017. All counties of the SACOG region are eligible. Planning activities that reduce the effects of future natural disasters are eligible for this funding. Deadline: January 1, 2018. ( Link)
Third round of Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities funding now open
The California Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Strategic Growth Council is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $255 million in funding for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program. Deadline: 11:59 p.m. PST on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. ( Link)
Partners for Places: Request for Proposals
Partners for Places is a matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. The grant program provides partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Deadline: January 29, 2018. ( Link )
Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide. Full Proposals due January 31, 2018. ( Link)
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grants
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding to support community-based organizations to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical providers, and academia) as they develop and implement solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for under-served communities. EPA anticipates awarding ten cooperative agreements (one in each EPA region) of up to $120,000 each. Proposals are due Friday, February 16, 2018 by 11:59 pm, Eastern Time. ( Link )
California EPA: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
At least $750,000 will be available during this funding cycle to eligible nonprofit community groups and federally recognized tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards across California. The maximum grant amount is $50,000, and the grant term is 12 months. Deadline Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 5pm Pacific Time. ( Link )
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Flood Insurance and Climate Risks
Thursday, December 14, 10-11am
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has offered flood insurance and helped communities reduce flood risk for decades. Although there have been some incentives for reducing flood risk and building resilience, these efforts fall short in the face of increasingly intense and frequent storms and growing populations in vulnerable areas. In this webinar, experts will discuss how NFIP has shaped flooding risks, how climate change will challenge the program, and how recently passed and proposed legislative reform may change the outlook. ( Register)
Webinar: CAP-Map Launch and Demo
Thursday, December 14, 11am-noon
Join Office of Planning and Research and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to hear about a new resource for local governments, the CAP-Map, which aggregates climate policies from local jurisdictions across California. This webinar will provide a demo of the tool's features, relationship to other State efforts such as the general plan guidelines, and will serve as a forum for feedback. We hope you will join us to learn more about this exciting new resource, and to help CARB ensure that it accurately captures your city or county's climate efforts. ( Link)
City Rising Community Screening and Panel Discussion
Thursday, December 14, 5.30-8.30pm
Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street, Sacramento
Please join KCET and The California Endowment (TCE) for the Sacramento screening and panel discussion of CITY RISING, a new documentary examining gentrification. CITY RISING shows how gentrification is deeply rooted in a history of discriminatory laws and practices in the United States that have and continue to impact health outcomes for marginalized communities. The film follows the journey of California communities that are fighting displacement and features a growing movement of advocates seeking responsible development across the state. ( Register)
OPR Webinar: Updates to CEQA Guidelines and SB 743
Monday, December 18, 1.30-2.30pm
Join SACOG for a webinar on the highlights of updates to the CEQA Guidelines, including the use of vehicles miles traveled instead of level of service as the metric for transportation impacts. Office of Planning and Research staff will discuss how these updates will affect project environmental review and general plan updates, the public comment period, and the timeline for their implementation. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the SACOG website. ( Register)
Preparing People for Climate Change in California
January 24-25, 2018  
Join the International Transformational Resilience Coalition for a conference on the urgency, methods, and benefits of applying psychological and psycho-social-spiritual models to build human resilience for climate adversities. From high levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), to financial struggles, racism and other forms of inequity, traumatic stress is epidemic today. Climate change will aggravate all of these existing adversities, and add many new ones as well. This conference will show how California can lead the nation in building widespread levels of personal and psycho-social-spiritual resilience for the hardships generated by rising temperatures and produce multiple benefits for individuals, families, communities, and our planet's climate. Early-bird discount rate ends October 15, 2017. ( Link)
Early-Bird Registration Deadline Approaching for New Partners for Smart Growth
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Early-Bird Registration ends on December 20th for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco. Eight thematic tracks include "One Water" for Resilient Communities, Adapting to a Changing Climate, and Building Capacity in Small Towns and Rural Communities, while the themes of smart growth and equity are woven throughout the program. ( NPSG)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 28-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( CAF)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.