CRI Bay Area Climate News for March 2016


logo_header.jpg                  BAY AREA CLIMATE NEWS

March 2016

The Big Picture

Adaptation is the Sixth Pillar (That’s Us!)

“For the Arctic, this is definitely the strangest winter I have ever seen.” – NSIDC Director Mark Serreze. Air temps in January 13˚F above average with northern Norway 19˚F above average. Lowest January sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979. And, the Bay Area’s Peter Gleick (Pacific Institute) weighs in for the Independent (UK) that there is a growing body of “pretty scary” evidence that higher temperatures in the Arctic are driving the creation of dangerous storms in the northern hemisphere.

Excellent VOX report on important study published in Nature by distinguished team of scientists (including Lawrence Livermore’s Ben Santer). We must consider MUCH LONGER time frames than 2100 for sea level rise and other climate impacts. We are truly designing the next centuries right now.

The “#1 Source For Oil and Energy News” says that “electric cars could upend oil markets much sooner than everyone thinks.” The industry newsletter quotes a new report from Bloomberg that found the rapid decline in battery costs will make EVs cheaper than the internal combustion engine in just a few years. By the 2020s, EVs could beat conventional vehicles on price, what Oil Price calls “a shocking development and a potential epochal shift for energy markets.”

The Bay Area’s U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (Marin) has introduced the Keep It In the Ground Act to permanently bar new fossil fuel leases on federal lands and waters. “Our oceans and our public lands—including the fossil fuel deposits beneath them—belong to the American people, not to the oil and gas industry, and it’s time that the law reflects that fact.”

The Governor’s 5 Climate Change Pillars for Action—transportation, energy efficiency, renewables, carbon sequestration in the land, and short-lived climate pollutants (methane, soot, etc.) have now added a 6th—ADAPTATION. This reflects the increasing movement by state agencies on adaptation, including Executive Order B-30-15, SB 246, and SB 379. Just weeks ago, the Natural Resources Agency released Implementation Plansfor 10 adaptation sectors, a series of 30-page current status reports on how state agencies are implementing the 2014 report Safeguarding California.

SB 1383: Reducing SLCP’s for Climate and Health

March Spotlight:

Cool Projects

March 30th Webinar: Health and Climate Planning

Senator Ricardo Lara from Southern California and the Bay Area’s Senator Loni Hancock and Senator Jerry Hill have introducedSB 1383 calling for a new state plan to significantly reduce methane, black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants by 2030. The bill aims to reduce potent GHGs and substantially cut toxic pollutants that increase risk of premature death. It would focus SLCP efforts, to the extent possible, on communities with poor air quality.

San Francisco Sea Level Rise Action Plan

Hot off the presses, the 16-page summary and 100-page full report establish the vision, goals, and guiding principles for sea level rise planning in San Francisco; summarize current climate science, policies, regulations, and assessments; identify data gaps and provide the foundation for the citywide Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan (Summer 2018).

LEAP – Live Edge Adaptation Project

Nate Kaufman’s bold vision in print and on the web includes the greatest illustrations in any Bay Area climate publication. “The net effect of overlapping and competing mandates, outmoded regulatory frameworks, and the brittle organizational architecture of Bay planning, policies and regulations has been a petrification of the progressive ethos that defined the SF Bay Area, and, indeed, attempted to ‘Save the Bay’ in the first place.” See LEAP’s cooldiscussion-provoking proposal for a 21st Century SF Bay.

Our Bay On the Brink

New public information project seeks to provide education about the challenges facing San Francisco Bay, opportunities to improve the health of the Bay for future generations, and the importance of the Bay to our economy and quality of life. OBOB includes an interactive documentary and is complemented by Measure AA on the June 2016 ballot.

State and Bay Area experts will discuss the critical links between climate change, health, and community planning in a March 30th webinar. Participants will learn about climate change impacts on local public health, the connection between healthy and sustainable communities, and how to incorporate health concerns in both adaptation and GHG reduction work. Get more info here.

CRI Project Updates

Photo of the Month

RISeR SF Bay, led by Professor Mark Stacey, is conducting a series of investigations for Bay Area sea level rise, including advanced modeling of how protective actions taken by one city or landowner would impact neighboring areas.

Professor Kristina Hill and Graduate Student Daniella Hirschfeld have classified the entire 9-county Bay edge in terms of the conditions for adaptation to sea level rise, based on a data product developed by the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

Graduate Student Colleen Kredell is working on a semester-long project on distributed water re-use for CRI and Professors David Sedlak and Arpad Horvath.

Professor Sally Thompson and students have completed an initial survey of groundwater potential for City of Berkeley park irrigation and will look to expand this work in a class project next semester.

Berkeley Lab scientist Andy Jones has hired a new researcher to conduct high resolution modeling to learn about Bay Area urban heat islands under a warmer climate and the effectiveness of potential local heat reducing strategies.

San Francisco International Airport on Treasure Island (1937 Design Concept!). See larger B&W version here.


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Bruce Riordan
Climate Readiness Institute

The Climate Readiness Institute brings together academic experts from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, UC Davis, and Stanford University with Bay Area climate practitioners to tackle our region’s most critical climate challenges

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