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PE and RS PUBLIC June 2011 : Page-546

Cal-Adapt Photos by Shannon Koy Introduction The Cal-Adapt ( web application has been developed to showcase the wealth of innovative climate change research being produced by the scientific community in California, as documented in the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy ( Through a combination of locally relevant information, visualization tools, and access to primary data, Cal-Adapt allows users to investigate how the climate is projected to change in their area of interest, and gives them tools to plan for these changes. California can be characterized by a complex physical geography, unique biodiversity, and a growing and diverse population. As the climate changes, and our urban footprint continues to grow in the next century, the interplay between climate change and urbanization will increase the challenges faced by California citizens, local and state government offi-cials, and planners. For example, the state’s water resources are predicted to be vulnerable through changes in snow pack, tim-ing and amount of precipitation, and increasing urban demand (Cayan et al. , 2008b) (Figure 1). Extreme weather events, such as heat waves, are expected to increase in frequency (Knowlton et al. , 2009). Climate change is also anticipated to compound the risk of catastrophic wildfire (Westerling and Bryant, 2008). Invasive species are likely to increase in range and impact on natural resources, as climate change creates new habitats and niches and eliminates existing ones (Loarie et al. , 2008). In addition, the state’s coastal and bay areas are at risk of flooding due to a rising sea level (Cayan et al. , 2008a). These projected increases in human population density and changes in climate highlight the need to coordinate regional planning efforts to promote conservation while also meeting the needs of all Californians for reliable and clean water, healthy communities, and food. In anticipation of 546 June 2011 these challenges, the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program has funded a variety of research projects throughout the state’s universities and research centers. These projects have and continue to produce a robust suite of data and findings related to climate change. Cal-Adapt provides a resource for researchers, decision mak-ers, and the general public, to access this wealth of information in order to better understand the risks posed by climate change. In turn, the localized analyses derived from this site may help to better inform effective climate change adaptation decisions and policies. This Highlight article showcases the Cal-Adapt web appli-cation, developed by UC Berkeley’s Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF). The site crosscuts GIS, global change modeling, web GIS and participatory tools, in a spatial framework. Con-sequently, a number of innovative web technologies have been leveraged to provide useful information to a diverse audience of users, from general public to expert. Though Cal-Adapt is a centralized resource, all of the data and information populating it has been contributed from PIER’s vast network of research centers and facilities around the state. Full attribution for each data set used in Cal-Adapt can be found on the site. Audience Cal-Adapt’s target audience fits into three broad groups: • general public interested in learning more about how climate change may affect California, • city and regional planners and resource managers who need access to local level climate data to help their development strategies, and • research experts interested in accessing climate data in a variety of formats. Photogrammetric engineering & remote SenSing

Cal-Adapt: Bringing Global Climate Change Data To A Local Application

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