Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
September 23, 2015
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

As Sacramento gears up for its third-annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, last week the U.S. announced its first-ever national food waste goal: a 50 percent reduction by 2030. Almost a third of food supply in the U.S. is wasted, with far-reaching impacts for hunger and food security as well as climate change - food waste in landfills produces 18 percent of the U.S.'s methane emissions.

Here in Sacramento, local businesses are already addressing food waste, with many restaurants and workplaces turning their food waste into renewable natural gas, electricity, and soil amendment. How do they do it? Come learn more at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District's booth at the Farm to Fork Festival (this Saturday 11am-6pm on Capitol Mall); we'll show you how anaerobic digestion helps to close the loop, from farm to fork and back to farm again.   
News and Research
Sierra Nevada snowpack at lowest point in last 500 years
Scientists had previously thought that the snowpack was at a 100-year low, but now it turns out to be far worse, at 500 years. The snow level at the end of March was just 5% of normal, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, based on annual growth rings of more than 1,500 blue oaks at 33 locations in California's Central Valley. (Guardian)
Warmer winters are an ongoing challenge for ski resort towns
Photo: John Moore / Getty Images
Mountain resort towns must adapt to shorter, warmer winters and unreliable snowfall, but attracting summer visitors is an imperfect solution as wildfires, flooding, mudslides, and changing hydrology pose their own risks. In response, mountain communities are forming collaboratives to focus on adapting to a changing climate and economy. (LA Times)
Climate change's impact on California water extends beyond this drought
Photo: Jim Gensheimer/San Jose Mercury News/AP/File
Warming temperatures has worsened the ongoing California drought by 15 to 20 percent, according to a new study. Drought is affected by not just precipitation but also the baseline amount of available water. Rising temperatures worsen the drought by driving moisture from plants and soil into the air. Within a few decades, continually increasing temperatures and resulting moisture losses will push California into more persistent dry conditions, even with more normal rainfall. (CS Monitor, Climate Central)
2015 will be the record-breaking hottest year on record
Last month was the hottest August on record, topping out the hottest summer on record, according to data just released by NOAA. Six of the top 10 hottest months on record have occurred this year. This has been the hottest start to a year on record and the hottest 12 months on record. It follows the hottest calendar year (2014), and the hottest decade. Unfortunately for California, NOAA predicts a continuation of the drought, though Southern California will get some rainfall. It is unclear whether this year's snowpack will materialize. (Bloomberg

Failure to act on climate change means an even bigger refugee crisis

Photo: Huffington Post
A severe drought from 2006 to 2010 - very likely exacerbated by climate change - was one of the key triggers for the 2011 Syrian uprising, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to cities. Scientists have also found that climate change may have contributed to the drought in North Africa that fueled food prices ahead of the Arab Spring. Last year was the worst year on record for refugees since recordkeeping began 50 years ago. In the future, sea level rise alone may drive 72 to 187 million people from their homes by 2100. As these impacts escalate, financing and assistance for climate adaptation for vulnerable countries could help alleviate these drivers of conflict and migration. (Guardian)

United Nations refugee status does not include climate change

Photo: John Corcoran
Might Syria just be the beginning? Climate impacts will displace up to 250 million people in the next few decades. Unfortunately, the United Nations definition of refugee does not include displacement due to environmental factors, making it difficult to claim asylum. New political and policy solutions will have to be developed to address this challenge, starting with good resilience solutions (plus resources and assistance) for vulnerable developing countries so that we don't create refugees in the first place. (Deutsche Welle)
Reinsurers call for politicians to deliver global climate action at Paris UN summit
Meeting at an industry conference, the $600 billion reinsurance industry was concerned that countries had failed to deliver emissions cuts sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change. Swiss Re data shows natural disasters caused an average of $180 billion in economic damage per year over the last decade, of which 70 percent was uninsured. Standard & Poor's said big natural catastrophes can lead to cuts in sovereign credit ratings - making it more expensive for governments to borrow money. "What we can bring to the table is a credible price tag for the decisions that are taken or not taken, making sure everybody understands that in the short term you may not take a decision but you will definitely pay a price in the long term," said Swiss Re. (Reuters)
How will climate change affect your livelihood?
Climate change is already affecting our world and our jobs. Here are a few scenarios from a variety of professions around the world for 2030 - when our world will look much different. (Economic Times
Case Studies and Examples
Confronting poverty and climate change: A case study from Cleveland
Photo: AP/Mark Duncan
The city of Cleveland - which faces staggering rates of poverty rivaled only by Detroit - has developed a strong focus on initiatives that address the immediate needs of the most challenged communities while simultaneously building climate resilience. Now is an opportune moment to highlight a selection of Cleveland's initiatives - as well as its progressive, integrated approach to addressing climate change and poverty - so they might serve as templates for other urban areas. Strategies include urban agriculture, innovative financing for neighborhood-level action, urban greening, and more. (American Progress
Across the U.S. cities are starting to think about preparedness
Chicago has developed a climate adaptation guidebook for the regional municipalities, the Illinois Department of Transportation is beginning to identify infrastructure vulnerable to new weather patterns, and Cleveland's climate action plan calls for planting more trees and weatherizing low-income residents' homes to protect them from the urban heat island effect. St. Louis is broadly thinking about climate adaptation but has yet to undertake specific planning and action. (Link)
Resources and Tools
427 Climate Solutions: Heat and Social Equity in the US
This series of maps examines vulnerability to heat, one of the biggest public health risks from climate change at the county level for the U.S. The maps combine projections from global climate models with socioeconomic indicators of heat vulnerability to compare the complex and interconnected components of heat risk and resilience. (427)
Upcoming Opportunities
Fellowship Opportunity: CivicSpark
Are you passionate about making a difference in your community and eager to gain experience addressing climate change? CivicSpark, a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program, places fellows with local governments to implement climate change research, planning, or implementation projects to support California's response to climate change. In addition to making a lasting impact, fellows also develop professional skills for the sustainability field and their networks throughout their service year. (Apply today
Job opening: Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is recruiting to fill the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator position for the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative. This position will focus on assisting local governments to meet goals within the California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. The coordinator is responsible for developing and disseminating local government energy efficiency best practices, tracking statewide progress, facilitating partnerships between local government staff, and more. Application deadline is October 2, or until the position is filled. (More information)
USDA Innovation Challenge
The USDA Innovation Challenge is seeking applications that help build a sustainable U.S. food system by putting USDA data into the hands of farmers, researchers, and consumers. Given its complexity, agriculture has great potential for the use of big data and analytics, but the data must be accessible and insightful for users. Deadline: November 20, 2015. (More info)
100 Resilient Cities Challenge
Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the challenge seeks to find 100 cities worldwide that are ready to build resilience to the social, economic, and physical challenges of climate change. Cities will receive funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, assistance in developing a resilience strategy, access to innovative tools, and more. The application deadline is Nov. 24. (Link)
Upcoming Events

National Adaptation Forum Webinar: Evaluation and Monitoring Examples from the Field

Wednesday, September 30, 10-11am

Good adaptation is going to require monitoring and evaluation in order to determine what is working and what is not working. Practitioners in the field are starting to look at ways to integrate monitoring and evaluation into their work. Join this webinar to learn more about examples of climate adaptation evaluation and monitoring efforts. (Register)

2015 Southwest Climate Science Summit

November 2-3, 2015

Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J St., Sacramento

Hosted by the Southwest Climate Science Center, this summit brings together managers and scientists from across the Southwest to learn about emerging climate science, explore adaptive management, share climate-smart conservation results, and discuss management and policy responses. Concurrent sessions focus on Southwest ecosystems, tribal climate adaptation planning, decision support for adaptation, effective science-management partnership models, and more. (SWCSC)

Climate-Smart Conservation Training

November 4, 2015

Delta King, 1000 Front Street, Sacramento

The California Landscape Conservation Cooperative is hosting a free one-day adaptation training based on the guide Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice. The course will provide an introduction to climate adaptation for application to conservation, how to craft climate-informed conservation goals, and how to manage for climate-related uncertainty. To register, please contact Christy Coghlan ([email protected] or 304.876.7438). (LCC)
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: