Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
June 28, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

For the first time in 11 years, Tahoe will likely  reach full capacity, both from the vast amount of snowfall this winter as well as the recent heat wave. Over 12 billion gallons of snowmelt poured into Lake Tahoe in the past week alone. For anyone planning long weekend excursions, this is an exciting opportunity to witness yet another chapter in California's pauper-to-prince water story this year. We'd like to wish everyone a wonderful - and safe - Fourth of July!

Also coming up in July, Arch Nexus - an architectural firm - will be hosting a tour for CRC  to show off their Sacramento office building on R Street. Their office incorporates a number of sustainable design features, such as a cutting edge composting system, on site agriculture, on site water filtration and treatment, and energy independence through highly efficient electrical systems and a solar PV array. Space is still available, so we welcome you to join us on  Thursday, July 20th  from  12:00-1:00pm! RSVP for your spot on the tour here.
Deadly heat waves could affect 75% of global population
Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images
Deadly heat waves will be a near-certainty for half of the world's population by the end of the century, reports a new study in Nature Climate Change. Evaluating past heat waves, scientists identified a global threshold beyond which temperature and relative humidity become deadly. Currently, 30 percent of the world's population is exposed to conditions beyond this threshold for at least 20 days a year, but - even with drastic GHG reductions - this is likely to grow to nearly half the world population by 2100. And under a scenario of growing GHG emissions, 75% of the global population will be facing extreme heat conditions beyond the threshold. Nature, a publication not given to exaggeration, writes, "A death zone is creeping over the surface of Earth, gaining a little more ground each year. [...S]ince 1980, these temporary hells on Earth have opened up hundreds of times to take life." ( Guardian)
95-degree days: How extreme heat could spread across the world
Interactive maps from the Climate Impact Lab provide a jarring illustration of how extremely hot days exceeding 95F are expected to multiply across the world. Even with moderate climate action, Phoenix would see an additional 30 days of 95-degree weather. Without any climate action, large swathes of the world could see extremely hot days for most of the year. Under moderate warming, the US electric grid would have to handle a 7.2 percent increase in peak demand to accommodate additional air-conditioning use, while corn and soybean yields plummet precipitously over 84F, and worker productivity declines sharply. ( NYTimes)
Southwest's deadly heat wave previews life in a warming world
Photo: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
As Phoenix temperatures reached 120F for three straight days,   flights were grounded , patients to the main burn treatment center doubled, and several heat-related deaths were reported in the   Las Vegas area and in California . In California, where San Diego set a record at  124 F , some communities faced  power outages  as air conditioners ran non-stop. Arizona utility APS set a  record for power demand , and said it would have been even higher without the increase in rooftop solar. To prepare for extreme heat, NYC released new building guidelines that encourage architects to design shades over windows, angle buildings to avoid direct sunlight, and use materials and designs that will keep buildings cooler. They also encourage builders to consider backup power systems and A/C systems designed for higher temperatures. ( Link )
If you think fighting climate change will be expensive, calculate the cost of letting It happen
A common conservative talking point is that fighting climate change is bad for the economy. But climate change itself is bad for the economy and investing in climate resilience is not only a national security priority, but an enormous economic opportunity. Insidiously, already-strained public budgets tend to be the "suppliers of first resort" when absorbing both the acute and attritional economic costs of climate change. Unfunded losses such as post-Katrina repairs that ultimately get picked up by tax payers have the consequence of raising the specter of sovereign risk. Funding "slow burn" climate impacts, such as the urban heat island effect that is projected to make many urban centers unbearably hot, risks the dislocation of millions of people, imperiling countless industries over the long range. ( Link)
Too hot to fly? Climate change taking a toll on aviation
Photo: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg
American Airlines has been forced to cancel more than 40 flights in Phoenix. Hotter air is thinner air, which makes it more difficult - and sometimes impossible - for planes to generate enough lift. These disruptions are likely to become more frequent, potentially making air travel costlier and less predictable. Aircraft have different maximum operating temperatures dependent on a variety of factors, including airport elevation and runway length, with higher thresholds for larger jets like Boeing 737s. An airline analysis group said that while airlines are working on boosting plane efficiency, they are not preparing enough for long-term climate impacts and how it affects planes' ability to fly. As global temperatures continue to rise, some of the heaviest planes on the longest flights may eventually be unable to depart during the hottest part of summer days, with cascading ripples and delays across aviation networks. ( NYTimes)
The future of national parks is going to be a lot hotter
Climate Central analyzes how climate change will increase temperatures in national parks in the contiguous U.S., finding that most parks will have average summers that are an average of 8-12F hotter by 2100. That means currently cool mountainous parks could be as hot as the plains, while the glaciers of Glacier National Park will have disappeared. More important is extreme heat, which will drastically affect visitor health. Joshua Tree National Park is projected to see 132 days above 100F, compared to just 71 today, and by 2050 Yosemite National Park could see nearly a month of days above 90F every year, compared to two weeks today. And while visitors can schedule trips outside of peak summers, the increasing heat will disrupt the unique ecosystems that made these parks protected lands in the first place. ( Climate Central)
Climate change raises new risk: Are inland bridges too low?
Photo: Charlie Neibergall/ AP
Many of the US's river communities are responding to climate change by raising or replacing bridges that suddenly seem too low to stay safely above water. The reconstructed bridges range from multi-lane structures to small rural spans traversed by country school buses and farmers. In Reno, Nevada, officials spent $18 million to replace a bridge over the Truckee River last year and plan to replace three more after flood-danger projections were increased by up to 15 percent. No one tracks the number of raised or replaced bridges, or the total dollars spent, but FEMA says it's now routinely providing money for this purpose. FEMA is now finalizing a rule that states that floods "are expected to be more frequent and more severe [...] due in part to the projected effects of climate change," but next steps on the rule are not clear. (  SF Chronicle)
Millions of mysterious sea pickles swarm US west coast
A rare, tiny sea creature known as the "unicorn of the sea" has swarmed in millions off the west coast, disrupting fisheries and baffling scientists. Each pyrosome is only a few millimeters long but they form into long, tubular gelatinous, biolumenescent colonies that stretch up to 98 ft long. Usually found in warm, tropical seas far from the shore, pyrosomes have washed up on to Oregon beaches, and have formed gargantuan blooms so densely covering the sea that fishermen have been unable to catch anything. Pyrosomes have been seen as far north as Alaska, astounding marine biologists, most of whom have never seen one in real life. ( Guardian )
Highlighting Local Solutions
Bipartisan mayors back ambitious climate action at national conference
As the U.S. Conference of Mayors wrapped up in Miami Beach, bipartisan leaders from more than 250 cities pushed back on the Trump administration by adopting a series of resolutions on climate change and energy. The mayors unanimously backed an ambitious commitment for U.S. cities to run entirely on renewable sources in two decades, which was proposed by Democratic mayors in the Republican-dominated states of South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Iowa. Rather than bemoan President Trump's decision this month to pull out of the Paris Agreement, many Republican and Democratic mayors here said the move had re-energized them. A separate effort by Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles and the Climate Mayors group also picked up support here; more than 300 mayors have signed a document to abide by the Paris accord and "intensify efforts to meet each of our cities' climate goals." ( Link)
Natomas Unified wins grant to boost local foods and farm literacy
Natomas Unified School District's award-winning nutrition services department won a USDA Farm to School grant that will provide nearly $80,000 to enhance farm-to-school efforts to help students learn about local farming and to bolster purchases of local crops for cafeteria meals. About 90 percent of the district's fruits and vegetables now come from California farms, as do foods for creating one entrée item per week According to the USDA, schools with strong farm to school programs report higher school meal participation, reduced food waste, and increased willingness of students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables. ( Link)
Tools and Reports
Planning for heat waves: heat vulnerability & social equity in the US
To help with preparations for future heat events, Four Twenty Seven has developed a tool to understand how heat vulnerability is increasing in the US. This series of maps combine projections from global climate models with socioeconomic indicators of heat vulnerability to compare - at the county level - the complex and interconnected components of heat risk and resilience. The maps feature a composite, peer-reviewed Heat Vulnerability Score indicator to identify vulnerable areas at the county level. Now featured on NOAA's Climate Resilience Toolkit, this free tool can be used to discuss climate impacts with healthcare professionals and to bolster community engagement and long-term adaptation planning. ( Link)
Sparking Change: Catalyzing the Social Impacts of Parks in Underserved Neighbourhoods
This report explores the social impacts of communities in underserved neighborhoods becoming involved in animating and improving their local park, and identifies common strategies taken by both community members and partner organizations to support this work. Sparking Change tells the story of communities that have taken action through spearheading improvements, engaging diverse community members, and organizing events and activities that draw people into the park. The report highlights five major social impacts of park engagement. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
New Partners for Smart Growth: Call for Presentation Ideas
Deadline June 30, 2017
The Local Government Commission is conducting a Call for Presentation Ideas for the 
2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference The 2018 conference program will feature eight focused thematic tracks, including one focused on Addressing our Changing Climate, that will provide participants an opportunity for a more dynamic, hands-on learning experience. Each track will be designed to create a peer cohort of practitioners that leave with new  smart growth tools, strategies, models and templates to integrate into their work. We encourage you to submit a proposal based on best practices, case studies, and strategies for climate adaptation through the "Addressing our Changing Climate" track. Presentation proposals will be accepted through  June 30th
The 2017 Mayors Challenge: An Innovation Platform for America's Mayors
Part of Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative, this nationwide competition will help hundreds of cities develop, test, and implement bold solutions to emerging challenges. Be among the first 300 cities to RSVP by August 18 and guarantee your city its own in-person Idea Accelerator workshop, designed to help city leaders strengthen idea development by drawing upon the expertise of the community. Apply by October 20, and as many as 35 "Champion Cities" will then win up to $100,000 each to test and refine their ideas. Five Mayors Challenge Winners will be selected based on the idea's vision for tackling an urgent challenge, potential for impact and successful implementation, and potential to spread to other cities. One city will win the $5 million grand prize; four others will receive $1 million implementation awards. ( Learn more and apply)
North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grant Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants increase bird populations and wetland habitat, while supporting local economies and traditions such as hunting, fishing, birdwatching, family farming, and cattle ranching. Wetlands protected by NAWCA provide valuable benefits such as flood control, reducing coastal erosion, improving water and air quality, and recharging ground water. Deadline: July 14. ( Link)
PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program
The PeopleForBikes grant program supports bicycle infrastructure projects, some facilities, and targeted advocacy initiatives that make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to ride. Letters of Interest due July 21, 2017. ( Link)
Partners for Places Matching Grant Program
This matching grant program creates opportunities to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. Through these projects, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant. 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. In addition to the existing sustainability priority areas, there is dedicated funding for green stormwater infrastructure projects that advance water-related sustainability goals. Deadline: July 31. ( Link)
Cap and trade funding for agricultural land preservation
Applications are now open for the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program to protect agricultural land and reduce GHG emissions. Last year, the SALC awarded over $37 million to 20 projects, protecting over 19,000 acres. Interested organizations are encouraged to submit a pre-proposal by June 1 to receive technical assistance. Interested landowners should contact a land trust in their area to begin the application process. Deadline: August 1. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Funding Opportunity to Promote Clean Energy Financing
Thursday, July 6, 2-3pm
This webinar will discuss the various tools and products the State of California is making available to local governments to promote clean energy projects for residents. Learn how you can receive up to $23,000 for free co-branded marketing materials and other marketing ideas to promote energy project financing. Updates to the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program will also be included. This new financing tool grants homeowners an unsecured alternative to PACE and other financing vehicles. ( Link)
Webinar: Cities on the Leading Edge of Resilience
Thursday, July 13, 10.15-11.45am
The private sector and all levels of government are embracing resilience as a holistic, proactive framework to reduce risk, improve services, adapt to changing conditions, and empower citizens. In 2016, the National League of Cities (NLC) launched a Leadership in Community Resilience program to help elected officials, city staff, and community partners share their experiences and advance local resilience efforts. The pilot initiative is providing technical assistance and professional development opportunities for 10 cities by supporting local resilience initiatives that have been prioritized by each city. This webinar, hosted by Arizona State University and NLC, will spotlight several cities and share their process for planning, building engagement, and implementing resilience initiatives with limited resources. ( Register)
Webinar: Energy Legislative Update
Thursday, July 13, 2-3pm
California's leadership in energy and climate action has never been more important or impactful. How will emerging energy and climate legislation impact your jurisdiction? Join us for a presentation and discussion with Jay Dickenson (Chief Consultant, Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee) and learn about this year's key energy-related bills. ( Link)
Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup: Active Transportation and Health Equity
Monday, July 18, 1-3.30pm
CalEPA, Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd Floor. 1001 I Street, Sacramento
Topics include the California State Bike and Pedestrian Plan; Integrated Transportation and Health Impacts Model (ITHIM); SB 375 target setting and implications for active transportation; SB 1 transportation funding and active transportation; and connected and autonomous vehicles and implications for active transportation, health, and safety. ( Agenda; register for webcast)
Arch Nexus Building Tour
Thursday, July 20, 12-1pm
930 R Street,  Sacramento
Arch   Nexus  is offering a tour of their Sacramento office building on R Street for CRC members! The tour will be held on  Thursday, July 20th from  12:00-1:00pm Arch Nexus is is currently pursuing the Living Building challenge, a rigorous green building certification program and sustainable design framework. Their office incorporates a number of sustainable design features, such as a cutting edge composting system, on site agriculture, on site water filtration and treatment, and energy independence through highly efficient electrical systems and a solar PV array. ( Register)
Disability and Climate Change: Preparing for the Future
Thursday, July 20, 5:30-8pm
Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley
The World Institute on Disability is hosting a workshop looking at the connection between climate change and disability. Topics will include: the basics of climate change; what climate change means for the disabled community; opportunities for change, as individuals and as a movement; and more. Connect with other attendees over snacks from 5 to 5.30pm. ( Register)
2017 Sierra Water Workgroup Summit: Legal and Legislative Strategies to Protecting Our Headwaters
July 24-25, Kings Beach, CA
Across California, diverse groups have been coming together to create model Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRWMPs) to ensure reliable water supply, protect water quality, and restore watersheds. The summit will focus on how headwaters issues can be addressed with legislative and policy strategies; breakouts will consider tribal and under-served communities, climate change, advocacy, and other areas. ( Register)
Sacramento: City of Trees? Addressing the Inequitable Distribution of our Region's Urban Forest
Friday, July 28, 8.30-10.30am
West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento
Using Google Maps to evaluate tree cover in 17 cities around the globe, MIT found that Sacramento was number one in the US and ranked third overall. While exciting news, the Sacramento Region suffers from stunning inequity when comparing the canopy cover of different neighborhoods, preventing many from reaping the health and other benefits of trees. Speakers from the Sacramento Tree Foundation, UC Davis, and Pacific Housing will explore a brief history of Sacramento, highlighting the lack of investment in certain communities. Learn how urban greening dollars are working to build community engagement while expediting tree planting in under-canopied neighborhoods. Discuss how we can plan for the future, making sure that trees and green spaces are at the forefront during the design of new communities. ( Link)
California Climate Action Planning Conference
August 24-25, 2017
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California has emerged as a national and international leader in addressing the climate crisis. To keep our leadership and momentum, Cal Poly's City & Regional Planning Department - in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research - are proud to host the third California Climate Action Planning Conference. Learn and network with over 150 professionals in climate action, sustainability, and resilience. Planned program includes: the new Scoping Plan, pathways to deep de-carbonization, successful financing and implementation, community vulnerability assessment, state planning guidance, and climate justice. ( Register; Link)
CRC and EJCW Co-Hosted Quarterly Meeting
September 7, 2017, 2-5pm
CRC's next quarterly meeting on September 7th is a special co-hosted meeting with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water! The theme of this meeting will focus on Traditional Ecological Knowledges and climate adaptation. Save the date and be on the lookout for more details coming soon!
Save the date: 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Mark your calendars for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco, California. Get involved early in the nation's largest smart growth and sustainability event by becoming a sponsor or a promotional partner. Don't forget to check out presentations and materials from this year's fantastic conference in St. Louis too. ( NPSG)
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.