Capital Region
Climate Readiness Collaborative 
Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
August 6, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.


California has released Safeguarding California, its guidance document on climate readiness for state agencies. First and foremost, the report recommends an overall mandate for state agencies to consider climate risks in all their policies, planning, and investments. It also highlights the importance of building capacity across all levels of government through collaboration, education and outreach, and significant and sustainable funding. We are excited to see this report, and hope that its recommendations will provide the necessary impetus for the state of California to include climate adaptation in its efforts moving forward. 

The Climate Readiness Collaborative is coordinating a CivicSpark application

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative would like to coordinate and support a CivicSpark application for projects to help local governments in the Sacramento region prepare for the impacts of climate change.  CivicSpark is an exciting new program that supports AmeriCorps Members to work with local governments on projects related to climate change and helps build capacity at the community level. Program funding in the Sacramento region will be supported by SACOG, SMUD, and the SMAQMD. Find out more here:


We invite you to join us on a call on Wednesday, August 13 at 3pm, to discuss project ideas and select the best for us to move forward with as a region. There are several ideas that we have brainstormed, but we would love to hear your ideas and suggestions of what your community needs most to prepare for a changing climate. 


RSVPs are recommended with  


Call-in info is:

Dial-in number: 646-307-1300 

Pass code: 1575775


Please come with your ideas and suggestions on how to help the Sacramento region prepare for climate change! We'll also answer any questions you have about the CivicSpark program and process.

News and Research
Drought drives wildfires to spread at lightening-fast pace

Despite dangerously dry conditions and an early fire season, aggressive firefighting has helped California to keep its multiple wildfires contained. This year's fires - including the Sand fire east of Sacramento - are notable for the speed of their ignition and spread. Normally, fires grow more slowly at this time of the year, due to greater moisture levels in the vegetation, but the on-going drought means that everything is already critically dry. (San Jose Mercury News)

Rim Fire: A natural experiment on fire ecology and forest management

When the Rim Fire crossed from Stanislaus National Forest - where fires are put out quickly - into Yosemite National Park - where lightning-ignited fires are allowed to burn, something interesting happened: the lack of fuel became a limiting factor, and the raging, intense mega-fire calmed down. This confirms other studies showing that wildfires often run out of fuel and burn out when they enter sections of the forest that have experienced low-intensity fires in the last decade. (

Drought may be long-term: Here's how California can do better

NV | Los Angeles

Signs of a strong El Niño (which would bring heavy rainfall) are fading, suggesting that California may have to prepare itself for a severe drought that could last decades. Questions may be raised on whether there is still a future for water-hungry crops, but much could still to be done to reduce waste and improve resiliency: greater efforts to capture runoff; urban waste water recycling; installing water meters; better pricing; and streamlining the market for water trading and transfers.(The Economist)   

Not only heat, but air pollution also reduces crop yields

Most studies examining the impact of climate change on agriculture focus on heat and drought, but

Image: Christine Daniloff/MIT

a new study evaluates heat and ozone, an air pollutant whose negative impacts on crops are little-known. The results show that agriculture is very sensitive to ozone pollution. The U.S.'s strong air quality rules are expected to reduce ozone pollution and thus mitigate crop damage, but other countries can see crop yield improvements if they strengthen their air quality regulations. (R&D)   

Tech meets agriculture to create new climate resilience tools
Photo: Rob Knies

The White House announced a new partnership with Monsanto, Walmart, IBM, and other companies to help connect farmers, food distributors, and agricultural businesses with tools, data, and information to understand and prepare for climate change impacts. Microsoft and Amazon will both offer services to applicants with projects, tools, and apps related to food resilience. This is part of the larger climate campaign that includes the hosting of climate datasets and tools in the cloud as part of the President's Climate Data Initiative. Developers and coders interested in agriculture can explore the many opportunities to get involved.    

Summer reading list: Climate (science) fiction

Before the summer ends, we all deserve a little break from reading science reports to the slightly more light-hearted climate change fiction - dystopian futures, literary meditations, children's books, graphic novels, and even a little Steinbeck. (Daily Climate)   

Photo by Arian Zwegers/flickr
Resources and Tools
Cal-Adapt: Help improve this local climate adaptation tool

The California Energy Commission is exploring how they can improve Cal-Adapt, an interactive online tool that projects local climate impacts. They would be interested in speaking to local officials and others involved in climate-related planning to understand what support is needed. If you are interested (even if you have never used Cal-Adapt), please contact Melissa Deas (, 707-480-6039). 

How big data can help fight climate change in LA
Source: California Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

The Los Angeles Solar & Efficiency Report (LASER) is a data-

driven mapping tool that can help communities understand not only their level of climate exposure, but also their potential to invest in climate solutions and job creation. The maps show projected temperature changes, disadvantaged populations, pollution exposure, and solar rooftop and energy efficiency potential. Currently, LA has realized only 2% of its solar rooftop potential, but reaching just 10% could help create 47,000 solar installation jobs and reduce carbon pollution by nearly 2.5 million tons annually. (HP)

Federal Green Infrastructure Collaborative to strengthen natural, low-cost resilience

Working collaboratively, federal agencies will launch a program to support green infrastructure development or the use of natural elements to provide low-cost and effective flood prevention in communities. The collaborative will provide technical assistance, convene local stakeholders, and more to help at least 25 communities incorporate green infrastructure into their planning efforts. (EPA)

Upcoming Events
Webinar: A Climate-Smart Approach to Adaptive Management of North-central CA Coast and Ocean Habitats, Species, and Ecosystem Services

August 7, 2014, 10-11am 

The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary's adaptation project will produce a comprehensive and prioritized adaptation implementation plan based on climate-smart principles, which seeks nature-based solutions to reduce climate impacts on wildlife and people. (Register online)

Public Workshop: Proposed Scope of Work for the 4th California Climate Assessment

August 8, 2014, 10am-noon

Hearing Room A, California Energy Commission, 1516 9th St., Sacramento 

The State of California will be hosting three public workshops to seek input on a proposed scope of work for the 4th California Climate Assessment, which will develop regionally relevant research to support state actions on both mitigation and preparedness. ( Info, webcast, submit comments).

Webinar: Active Transportation Funding through the Strategic Growth Council

August 8, 2014, 1-2pm

Photo- Dan Burden

Safe Routes to School is hosting a webinar on key opportunities for active transportation funding under the Strategic Growth Council's Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which will be responsible for $130 million of cap and trade revenues. Top agency leaders that will be involved in crafting the guidelines will outline the program's basic information, goals, project eligibility, agency roles, and timelines. (Register)

Public Workshop: Provide Input on Sustainable Communities Funding Guidelines

August 12, 14, 15, 2014

The Strategic Growth Council will be hosting three workshops for the public to provide input on the funding guidelines for $130 million of cap and trade funding for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which will be making grants to support affordable housing, transit-oriented development, and transit projects. One of the three workshops will be webcasted and recorded. (More information

EPA: Community Flood Preparation Webinar

August 13, 2014, 10-11.30am PDT

After suffering severe floods in 2011, Vermont state agencies and local communities worked with EPA and FEMA to identify smart growth strategies that can help vulnerable communities prepare for and recover from floods. The project resulted in a report and a Flood Resilience Checklist applicable to all communities. The webinar will highlight smart growth approaches and strategies communities can use to become more flood resilient. (EPA)

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 Sacramento Region.  If you are interested in learning more about the Climate Readiness Collaborative, joining the Collaborative, or being added to the list serv, visit: 

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 CRC members.