Development of Climate Projections for California and Identification of Priority Projections

The Regents of California, San Diego


La Jolla, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

Input from the broad stakeholder engagement is helping refine: the spatial and temporal resolution of a select number of variables, the metrics used for GCM evaluation (leading to a subset of global GCMs that are candidates for downscaling relevant to CA's characteristics), and the needs on selection of priority projections.

The Issue

To plan for and adapt to climate change impacts requires state-of-the-art information at a fine spatial resolution. However, global climate projections are carried out at a coarse spatial resolution. To be useful for California applications, the global models' output must first be downscaled to a much finer scale to account for the complex topography and regional weather and climate of California's varied landscape. Many types of data are needed, such as temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, snowpack, runoff, streamflow and sea level rise. This work is timely as the international climate
community has recen

Project Innovation

This project will integrate the latest bias correction and downscaling approaches applied to the recently produced global climate models (GCMs) with an engagement process to develop a robust, usable, set of climate projections applicable for California. The dynamical and hybrid statistical-dynamical downscaling along with the hydrologic modeling, hourly sea level projections proposed is unique. It will provide California with one of the world's most comprehensive, high resolution climate data sets and by working with stakeholders the data developed will be regionally relevant. This project provides the climate projections that IOUs and other stakeholders need to plan and adapt to such changes. Both a full and comprehensive set of data, and a reduced set of priority climate projections will be supplied. The project will supply data that can support the 5th Assessment and studies in agriculture, human health, water management, infrastructure planning, energy demand, and wildfire threats.

Project Benefits

This project will lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome barriers to the achievement of the State of California's statutory energy goals by significantly advancing the physical realism, spatial detail, frequency, completeness, applicability, and estimation of uncertainty of the climate data used by California IOUs and state agencies to understand the effects of climate change on their operations and environment. The production process of the data will also be improved in a critical way, by incorporating stakeholder input and feedback at the project's early stages so that the climate scientists and domain/application experts can together determine the information needed to meet statutory, operational, and environmental goals.

Greater Reliability


The downscaled climate projections will provide information to the IOUs and broader energy sector about how climate change may impact energy demand and supply based on changes in temperature, humidity, winds, and streamflow.

Increase Safety


The downscaled climate projections will provide information and scenarios of how climate change could impact infrastructure affecting both reliability and safety of the electricity system.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Dan Cayan

Principal Investigator
Scripps Institute Of Oceanography, UC San Diego
Project Member

Julie Kalansky

Project Manager
Scripps Institute Of Oceanography, UC San Diego



The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Berkeley campus


The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Los Angeles Campus


Match Partners


The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Los Angeles Campus


Contact the Team