Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 29, 2015
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative


A new NASA satellite has sent back the first "blue marble" photo of the entire sunlit face of the Earth in 40 years. Taken from Apollo 17 in 1972, the original Blue Marble helped to galvanize a nascent environment movement. As wildfires burn along the West Coast, this image could not be more timely - a beautiful reminder, from a million miles away, that this is the only home we have.  


The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative encourages you to register for an upcoming intensive and highly interactive 3-day training in mid-August that will provide you with a climate adaptation toolkit to proactively address adaptation planning in the context of local government priorities. Learn more about this opportunity in the events section below. 


News and Research
Treat climate change as seriously as threats to national security or public health

Written by 60 experts from 11 nations, a new global risk assessment of climate change recommends that governments should analyze low-probability worst-case scenarios for climate change, similar to their approach on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, and conflict prevention. Too often, climate change is viewed as a long-term weather forecast. The report also discusses systemic risks resulting from interactions with systems of governance, trade, and security, as well as how to value and reduce these risks. (Reuters)

Climate risks for the aviation industry
Photo: oksana.perkins/

Aviation not only contributes to climate change but is also vulnerable to its impacts.  Temperatures over 100 F can soften the tarmac, leading planes to get stuck, while extreme heat poses many health risks for the tarmac workers. Many airports are in coastal areas or vulnerable floodplains, exposing them to sea level rise and flooding. Increasingly intensive storms can lead to costly delays and cancellations - for example, Hurricane Sandy led to 20,000 cancelled flights, $190 million in lost earnings, and $29 million in damage to federal air navigation systems. (Live Science)

Migrating birds find dry welcome in California

In years past, the millions of migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, and seabirds could count on California for lush ecosystems teeming with fish, plants, and insects. But the drought has dried up wetlands, and few sanctuaries are available to sustain birds on their journey along one of only four main migration routes in North America. As a result, many birds have died or are too depleted of energy to reproduce. (National Geographic)

After years of drought, wildfires rage in California
Photo: NYTimes

A special feature from the New York Times examines the new normal of wildfires in California. In 2015, through July 11, officials have responded to 3,381 wildfires, 1,000 more than the past five-year average. Fires that could have once been controlled in a day, consuming only a few acres, now burn areas the size of San Francisco. A substantial increase in tree death - also due to drought - fuels the fires with dry wood, while officials are concerned about the state's limited water supply to respond to fires. (NYTimes

Battling wildfires from space: NASA adds to firefighters' toolkit

U.S. firefighters will benefit from new NASA-funded satellite-based tools to better detect fires nationwide and predict their behavior. The new fire detection tool now in operation will use satellite data to detect much smaller fires in more detail, predict how a fire will change direction based on weather and land conditions, and provide more consistent tracking of fire lines during long-duration wildfires. (NASA)

Climate change driving wildfires and wildfires driving climate change


A new scientific study says that even as climate change increases wildfires risks globally, increased wildfire risks may be linked to a declining ability of the world's lands, trees, and plants to sequester carbon and thus mitigate GHG emissions. Increased wildfires may decrease the overall ability of plants to store carbon, especially if plant life does not grow back as quickly after intense fires, or is replaced by different, smaller, or less carbon-sequestering plants. (Guardian)

El Ni�o increasingly likely for Northern California but may not end the drought

As summer storms in the Sierra brought four inches of hail to the Donner Summit, scientists say that it is more likely that El Ni�o will bring storms to not only southern California but also north of San Francisco - critical for state water supply. But even winter storms may not end the drought if too much precipitation falls as rain instead of snow. (Chicago Tribune

7 Cool Ways Cities Are Thinking Ahead on Climate Change
Photo: Milad Palesh

The world's cities are coming up with ingenious ways to fight climate change, from massive seawalls to "sponge zones" and floating communities. View the gallery to see some of the innovative designs and solutions. (National Geographic)

Upcoming Opportunities
CivicSpark: Supporting local governments on climate change and sustainability

If you are a local government looking for additional capacity and support on your climate change and sustainability projects, CivicSpark may be the perfect program for you. In its first year, CivicSpark members have been supporting urban forestry for disadvantaged communities in South Sacramento, building community engagement on climate action in Davis, evaluating the Yolo County climate action plan, and analyzing the regional transportation infrastructure's vulnerabilities to climate risks. Learn more about how the program works; applications for the 2015 to 2016 service year are now open. 

Sign up for the Cool California challenge!

The CoolCalifornia Challenge is a statewide competition engaging cities to save energy, conserve water, reduce their carbon footprints, and help build more vibrant and sustainable communities. In 2014, 10 cities participating in the Challenge engaged nearly 4,000 households to take simple, everyday actions, saving more than 800,000 pounds of equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. All cities receive prize money based on points. If your city would like to participate in this year's Challenge, please sign up by August 31. An informational webinar will take place on July 27. (CoolCalifornia)

Call for Posters: California Climate Change Symposium 2015
Mon-Tue, August 24-25, Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento

The California Natural Resources Agency invites researchers, local governments, private sector stakeholders, and other groups working to support climate resilience to submit abstracts for posters. Posters should present current scientific research projects or implementation of strategies to promote climate resilience. Find out how to submit posters here. Poster submission information must be submitted by 5pm on August 7th.

Local Government Commission Seeks Regional Coordinators for CivicSpark

CivicSpark is seeking Encore Fellows to serve as Regional Coordinators. Encore Fellowships are paid, time-limited fellowships that match skilled, experienced professionals with social-purpose organizations in high-impact assignments. Each CivicSpark Encore Fellow will spend 1,000 hours over a 13-month period supervising a team of 3-8 AmeriCorps Members, managing partner relationships, and proving support to project management and implementation. Encore Fellows would act as an integral part of the CivicSpark team, supporting the AmeriCorps members and coordinating closely with LGC staff in Sacramento to ensure the program is implemented successfully in the region. We are currently looking for applicants for teams in Fresno, Sacramento, Truckee, and San Luis Obispo. (Application form)

Vision for Paris: Building an Effective Climate Agreement
This report outlines the emerging elements of a Paris climate agreement based on in-depth discussions among senior climate negotiators from leading countries. The report foresees a durable legal agreement that sets binding commitments for all parties, holds countries accountable, and works to progressively strengthen global ambition. (Report)
White House Progress Report: Federal Actions Addressing the Recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience
This report highlights examples of progress on actions to increase community resilience, which align with the work and specific recommendations of the Task Force. The progress report consolidates policies, plans, and programs across sectors and agencies, highlighting all the ways in which the Obama administration is addressing climate resiliency. (Link)
Upcoming Events
Capital Region Climate Adaptation Training for Communities
August 18-20, 2015
Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD, 3rd floor, 12th St., Sacramento

This intensive and highly interactive three-day training course provides individuals with a climate adaptation toolkit to proactively address adaptation planning in the context of local government priorities. NOAA has taught this well-received workshop throughout the U.S., and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District is pleased to bring this opportunity to the Capital Region. Space is limited; please learn more and register today. (Register

Registration Open: Advancing Bicycling in the Capital Region

Wednesday, September 23, 8.30am-5pm

Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento

The Local Government Commission, in partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD, is organizing a one-day workshop on what can be done to take bicycling to the next level in the Capital Region. Topics include the economic benefits of cycling, advancing bicycling in underserved communities, changing the culture around bicycling, bikeway design best practices, and more. Join us at this workshop and connect with a comprehensive network of leaders who have a strong commitment to advancing bicycling in our region and beyond. (Register

Webinar: Financing Solar for Your Business
Wednesday, July 29, 3-5pm

As businesses set goals for lowering energy costs and achieving sustainability, they increasingly look to solar power for clean energy procurement. Hosted by the California Statewide Finance Advisory Council, topics include renewable energy procurement methods, lease and power purchase agreements, financing, and upcoming policies and market development. (Register

Cap-and-Trade Funding Public Workshop: Concepts for Second Investment Plan and Draft Funding Guidelines
Monday, August 3, 1-5pm
Webcast/Byron Sher Auditorium, Cal/EPA Building, 1001 I St., Sacramento

This public workshop is a chance to provide input on two documents. The Concept Paper for the Second Investment Plan presents high-level ideas and draft funding priorities to inform development of the Second Investment Plan covering Fiscal Years 2016-17 through 2018-19. The Draft Funding Guidelines for Agencies Administering California Climate Investments helps state agencies receiving cap-and-trade funding to meet AB 32 goals, maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities, and meet other statutory requirements. (Link)

Webinar: How to properly manage your urban forest in a time of drought
Tuesday, August 4, 1-2pm

Receive an update on the Governor's Executive Drought Order, and hear from representatives at the local level on strategies that local governments can take towards meeting water mandates while preserving their tree inventory. (Register)

Joint Agency Symposium on the Governor's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals
Wednesday, August 5, 9am-4pm
Webcast/Byron Sher Auditorium, Cal/EPA Building, 1001 I St., Sacramento

This symposium will discuss strategies to secure and enhance carbon storage on natural and working lands, including farms, rangelands, forests and wetlands throughout California. Topics include protecting and managing land to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration rates, and opportunities to develop synergies that promote resource stewardship and contribute to emission reductions in other sectors. (Link)

Webinar: Minorities in Energy - Climate Change's Regional Impact Series
Thursday, August 6, noon-1.30pm

The webinar will discuss regional efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts as they relate to the President's Climate Action Plan, particularly as they relate to climate change and resilience for underserved communities.  (Register)

California Climate Action Planning Conference
August 13-14, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

This conference focuses on in-depth issues in GHG emissions reduction and climate adaptation at the local and regional level. Our panels will feature leaders in the field to bring you the most up-to-date and advanced thinking. (Link)

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 serve, visit: