Science Scope

A new climate change website for the public, experts and decision makers

Posting in Cities

Cal-Adapt gives people the latest information on the impacts of climate change in California. Tools show people scientific research in a visual way.

A new website called Cal-Adapt.org collects peer-reviewed climate change research to make the data available to people concerned about their local climate, decision-makers and experts. The website is interactive, so you can go in and use the tools to see how snow pack or temperature changes will impact the state of California by the end of the century.

I clicked on view local profiles to explore climate projections for San Francisco, and the map showed me this (pictured above):

You are now viewing the projected change in annual average temperatures across California under a a2 scenario low carbon emissions scenario (B1). The map above shows the projected difference in temperature between a baseline time period (1961-1990) and an end of century period (2070-2090).

Soon, the community feature will allow you to ask questions to a climate expert. The site has built-in social media functions, so if you "like" a map and want to share it, you can spread it through Facebook, Twitter or email. The scientific data is presented in a digestible, visual way. It's a tool government agencies and city planners can use to make decisions about climate change risks.

“Cal-Adapt currently synthesizes 150 years of climate data generated from a variety of models and scenarios for carbon emissions. This gives users an opportunity to explore a wide range of possible outcomes given different potential social and economic factors,” Berkeley's Brian Galey said in a statement.

I tried out another tool, which told me which areas are most vulnerable to a 100-year flood event as sea level rises. Global models have shown that the Golden State might see a 140 cm rise in sea level this century. As you can see, the areas near the coast are vulnerable to flooding:

Hopefully, websites like this will encourage users to interact and engage with the researchers, rather than make death threats. High profile Australian climate change scientists received threats stop research on climate change. Some researchers have moved offices with tightened security and had to improve their security systems at home.

“These are issues where we should have a logical public debate and it’s completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse and to threats like this,” Dick Young, the ANU vice-chancellor, told the Telegraph.

via UC Berkeley

Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech, Technewsdaily.com, Techstartups.com and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure