Resilient Sacramento

Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
April 2, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Sacramento Regional Adaptation Collaborative.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases Report Aimed to "Jolt People Into Action" 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, released its definitive report on how climate change, in combination with poverty and inequality, will pose a severe and growing threat to people all over the world. While irreversible change is already underway at ecosystems such as coral reefs and the Arctic, governments' main focus will be on the human impacts.

"It's about people now," said Virginia Burkett, the chief scientist for global change at the U.S. Geological Survey and a report author. "It's more relevant to the man on the street. 
It's more relevant to communities because the impacts are directly affecting people - not just butterflies and sea ice."
Gregory C. Johnson


The report draws new connections between climate impacts, food scarcity, and conflict. Here are the key findings:

  • Food security: "The main way that most people will experience climate change is through the impact on food: the food they eat, the price they pay for it, and the availability and choice that they have," said Tim Gore, head of food policy and climate change for Oxfam.
  • Global security: Migration, food shortage, and water security could increase violent conflict and unrest. The Department of Defense has already highlighted climate change as an increasingly important threat to global security.
  • Inequality: Risks will not be borne equally: Tropical developing countries will bear a greater share of the physical impacts of climate change. The poor, the young and the elderly in all countries will all be more vulnerable; scientists say that governments lack systems to protect vulnerable populations. Climate impacts will slow economic growth, prolonging existing and creating new poverty traps.
  • Humanitarian crisis: The report catalogued some of the disasters that have taken place around the planet since 2000: killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in Australia, and deadly floods in Pakistan.
  • Infrastructure: Relocation of industries and communities will cost billions of dollars even in wealthy countries. Transport infrastructure, homes, industries, and agriculture will face damage from increasingly extreme weather, droughts and storms, especially in low-lying coastal areas. Extreme weather will disrupt critical services such as electricity, water supply, health, and emergency.
  • Water: The loss of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems will pose severe risks for biodiversity and the ecosystem goods, functions, and services. Insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water will lead to reduced agricultural productivity, loss of rural livelihoods, and reduced income, particularly for farmers with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.
  • Many global risks will be concentrated in urban areasUrban adaptation will benefit from effective multi-level urban risk governance, alignment of policies and incentives, strengthened local government and community adaptation capacity, synergies with the private sector, and appropriate financing and institutional development
  • Global threat multiplier: The biggest risk from climate change extends from a number of scenarios unfolding at the same time, leading to conflicts and wars, or turning a regional problem into a global crisis. 
  • Building resilience: While governments are starting to recognize the importance of adaptation, existing efforts have been mostly limited to assessments of vulnerability and adaptation planning, with implementation levels still low. Governments are starting to incorporate climate change into development plans; the report particularly mentions that North America's efforts are mostly at the municipal level, in contrast to national-level efforts on other continents.(IPCC Summary for Policymakers, The NY Times, The Guardian
The head of the UN climate panel said he "hoped this report on the rising threat of climate change would "jolt people into action" and would "push government leaders to deal with climate change."

A Different Kind of Green: Making Money While the World Burns

Businesses are discovering new markets created by climate change, ranging from providing vital adaptation services - building sea walls, developing drought-resistant crops - to the more ethically dubious - buying up scarce resources such as farmland in Sub-Saharan Africa. Profiting from climate change raises difficult questions of justice and equity: We should be united in working to stop climate change, but now some stand to profit from a disaster that will disproportionately affect the poor in developing countries. It gets worse if one considers that the majority of the "winners" will be in rich countries responsible for the lion's share of greenhouse gas emissions, while poor countries will be "losers" left holding the bill. (New Scientist)
Case Studies and Examples
Photo: Leah Millis, The Chronicle 
The only plant of its kind in the U.S., the WaterFX turns salty, contaminated irrigation runoff into 14,000 gallons of pure water per day for the Panoche Water District in the Central Valley. Within a year, it intends to expand capacity to 2 million gallons per day, and in 5 years, 10 times that amount. If the project reaches it's target of $450 per acre-foot, the water will be much cheaper than conventionally desalinated water ($2,000 per acre foot) and only a little more expensive than water in a wet year ($300/acre-foot). Cleaning up salty drainage water is an important environmental issue for the Valley. Eventually, the company aims to also be able to use industrial and residential wastewater. (
SF Chronicle)
Resources and Tools
White House launches one-stop climate change data center 

The website will bring together the enormous amount of data at various federal agencies and make it more accessible to communities, researchers, and industries. Spearheaded by NASA and NOAA the Climate Data Initiative will provide data on sea-level rise, coastal flooding, food supply, health, and energy. Private-sector projects will help provide the data in more user-friendly formats such as apps and cloud-computing tools to create tools for planners. For example, Google will donate 1,000 terabytes of cloud storage, create a map of the Earth's terrain in high resolution, and provide drought monitoring and mapping for the continental U.S. in near-real time. (

California Sustainability Research Hub

The CA Sustainability Research Hub is an online database of over 800 State-funded reports on sustainable communities research. It expands search functionality by allowing users to search CARB, CEC, and Caltrans sustainable communities reports in one place by keyword or by sustainability topic. The Research Hub also provides a brief summary of each report in the results section. (California Sustainability Research Hub)

Upcoming Events
California Adaptation Forum - August 19-20, Sacramento - 
Registration Opens May 2014!
The first California Adaptation Forum, co-hosted by the Local Government Commission and the State of California, is designed to create a comprehensive network of multi-disciplinary adaptation leaders who have a strong commitment to addressing climate risks in California. We plan to craft a program reflective of the diverse needs and challenges California is facing and bring together over 600 leading voices from public health, water, emergency management, agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and coastal management sectors to share insights on how we can most effectively respond. Confirmed keynote speakers include Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird. Please contact Jenny Woods for more information about this Forum.

Resilient Communities for America Webinar

Mitigate, Prepare, Respond: Emergency Managers as Partners in Climate Adaptation 

Tuesday, April 8th, 10:00am - 11:00am (PT)

Please join us to hear key findings from cities and their federal and private sector partners that are addressing climate-fueled extreme weather through traditional emergency management practices.  This important topic will help you consider innovative ways to tackle climate resilience in a cost-effective way that leverages the work of emergency managers and other departments in local agencies. Speakers include:

 *   Gwen Camp, Director of Individual and Community Preparedness, FEMA
 *   Jeff Johnson, Chief Science Officer, Schneider Electric
 *   Kristin Baja, Climate and Resilience Planner, City of Baltimore
 *   Melissa Higbee, ICLEI USA

Register here or learn more at

Workshop: Southern Sierra Fire and Hydroclimate

April 22-24, 2014, Yosemite National Park

This workshop is focused on developing an integrated view of the physical landscape, climate effects, hydrology, and fire regimes of the Sierra Nevada. The first half of the workshop focuses on fire science and management, followed by a joint session combining hydroclimate and wildland fire research. Hydrology and climate-related research pertaining to Yosemite and the greater Sierra Nevada region will be the focus of the last two days. View the agenda and register online.

UC Drought Science, Policy and Management Summit

April 25, 2014, State Capitol, Sacramento

This summit brings together a wide range of experts in water sciences, water management and policymaking for thoughtful discussion on how best to manage current and long-term water shortages. Topics range from agricultural production and employment to wildfires, public health and welfare, the economy, energy production and use, fish and wildlife, and water conservation. View the agenda and register online.

Climate Change: Challenges to CA's Agriculture & Natural Resources

The UC Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics 

Monday - May 19th, The California Museum in Sacramento

The forum is free but registration is required by May 12th For more information and a list of participants, click here.
About Resilient Sacramento

Resilient Sacramento 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 Sacramento Region.  


Resilient Sacramento's current members include: UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy; Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District; Sacramento Area Council of Governments; Greenwise Joint Ventures; Sacramento Municipal Utility District; Pacific Gas & Electric Company; and the Local Government Commission. If you are interested in learning more about Resilient Sacramento, joining the Collaborative, or being added to the list serv, please contact Jenny Woods.

Copyright � 2014. All Rights Reserved.
This newsletter is intended for general educational and informational purposes only. 
It does not necessarily reflect the views of individual Resilient Sacramento members.