Climatic Change

, Volume 87, Supplement 1, pp 1-6

First online:

Overview of the California climate change scenarios project

  • Daniel R. CayanAffiliated withClimate Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, U.S. Geological Survey Email author 
  • , Amy L. LuersAffiliated withUnion of Concerned Scientists
  • , Guido FrancoAffiliated withCalifornia Energy Commission
  • , Michael HanemannAffiliated withUniversity of California, Berkeley
  • , Bart CroesAffiliated withCalifornia Air Resources Board
  • , Edward VineAffiliated withCalifornia Institute for Energy and Environment

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In response to an Executive Order by California Governor Schwarzenegger, an evaluation of the implications to California of possible climate changes was undertaken using a scenario-based approach. The “Scenarios Project” investigated projected impacts of climate change on six sectors in the California region. The investigation considered the early, middle and later portions of the twenty-first century, guided by a set of IPCC Fourth Assessment global climate model runs forced by higher and lower greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Each of these climate simulations produce substantial impacts in California that would require adaptations from present practices or status. The most severe impacts could be avoided, however, if emissions can be held near the lower end of global greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.