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DRAFTA Report From:California Climate Change CenterPrepared By:Steven Messner, Sandra C Miranda,Karen Green, Charles Phillips, Dr. JosephDudley – SAICDr. Dan Cayan – Scripps Institution ofOceanographyDr. Emily Young – The San Diego FoundationDISCLAIMERThis report was prepared as the result of work sponsored by the California Energy Commission(Energy Commission) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA). It does notnecessarily represent the views of the Energy Commission, Cal/EPA, their employees, or the Stateof California. The Energy Commission, Cal/EPA, the State of California, their employees,contractors, and subcontractors make no warrant, express or implied, and assume no legal liabilityfor the information in this report; nor does any party represent that the uses of this information willnot infringe upon privately owned rights. This report has not been approved or disapproved by theCalifornia Energy Commission or Cal/EPA, nor has the California Energy Commission or Cal/EPApassed upon the accuracy or adequacy of the information in this report.[If the study is funded by another stateagency, its logo will be here]DRAFT WHITE PAPERCLIMATE CHANGE RELATED IMPACTSIN THE SAN DIEGO REGION BY 2050


AcknowledgmentThis paper relies heavily on the research conducted in the San Diego Foundation’sRegional Focus 2050 Study (Focus 2050 Study), which was conceived of andcommissioned by the Foundation’s Environment Program. 1 The Foundation contractedwith UC San Diego’s Environment and Sustainability Initiative (ESI) to serve as theproject manager for the Focus 2050 study and the Foundation was the project managerfor this PIER study. ESI staff worked with a team of 40 experts from the regionincluding universities, nonprofit organizations, local governments, public sector agenciesand private sector entities to produce this report. It draws upon the most current scientificanalyses from a broad array of experts in climate science, demography andurban/regional planning, water, energy, public health and ecology.The Focus 2050 Study for the San Diego region is modeled, in part, on the Focus 2050study undertaken by King County, Washington 2 and is tailored for incorporation into theCalifornia Climate Change Center’s 2nd Biannual Assessment of the implications ofclimate change for the State of v/dnrp/climate-change/conference-2005.htm. (Last visited on /index.html (Last visited on 10/31/08)2i

PrefaceThe California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Programsupports public interest energy research and development that will help improve thequality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, affordable, and reliableenergy services and products to the marketplace.The PIER Program conducts public interest research, development, and demonstration(RD&D) projects to benefit California’s electricity and natural gas ratepayers. The PIERProgram strives to conduct the most promising public interest energy research bypartnering with RD&D entities, including individuals, businesses, utilities, and public orprivate research institutions.PIER funding efforts focus on the following RD&D program areas: Buildings End-Use Energy EfficiencyEnergy-Related Environmental ResearchEnergy Systems IntegrationEnvironmentally Preferred Advanced GenerationIndustrial/Agricultural/Water End-Use Energy EfficiencyRenewable Energy TechnologiesTransportationIn 2003, the California Energy Commission’s PIER Program established the CaliforniaClimate Change Center to document climate change research relevant to the states. Thiscenter is a virtual organization with core research activities at Scripps Institution ofOceanography and the University of California, Berkeley, complemented by efforts atother research institutions. Priority research areas defined in PIER’s five-year ClimateChange Research Plan are: monitoring, analysis, and modeling of climate; analysis ofoptions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; assessment of physical impacts and ofadaptation strategies; and analysis of the economic consequences of both climate changeimpacts and the efforts designed to reduce emissions.The California Climate Change Center Report Series details ongoing Centersponsored research. As interim project results, the information contained in these reportsmay change; authors should be contacted for the most recent project results. By providingready access to this timely research, the Center seeks to inform the public and expanddissemination of climate change information, thereby leveraging collaborative efforts andincreasing the benefits of this research to California’s citizens, environment, andeconomy.For more information on the PIER Program, please visit the Energy Commission’swebsite, or contact the Energy Commission at (916) 654‐5164.ii

Table of ContentsPreface. iiAbstract . v1. Introduction . 12. Project Approach . 32.1.Climate Change in the San Diego Area . 32.2.Sea Level Scenarios and Coastal Impacts in 2050. 32.3.Climate Impacts on Water in 2050 . 42.4.Wildfires in 2050 . 52.5.Ecosystems in 2050. 62.6.Public Health in 2050. 72.7.Electricity: Powering Growth in a Demanding Future . 93. Project Outcomes . 113.1.Climate Change in the San Diego Area . 113.2.Sea Level Scenarios and Coastal Impacts in 2050. 133.3.Climate Impacts on Water in 2050 . 183.4.Wildfires in 2050 . 213.5.Ecosystems in 2050. 223.6.Public Health in 2050. 243.7.Electricity: Powering Growth in a Demanding Future . 284. Conclusions and Recommendations . 344.1.Climate Change in the San Diego Area . 344.2.Sea Level Scenarios and Coastal Impacts in 2050. 354.3.Climate Impacts on Water in 2050 . 364.4.Wildfires in 2050 . 374.5.Ecosystems in 2050. 384.6.Public Health in 2050. 394.7.Electricity: Powering Growth in a Demanding Future . 405. References . 415.1.Climate Change in the San Diego Area . 415.2.Sea Level Scenarios and Coastal Impacts in 2050. 415.3.Climate Impacts on Water in 2050 . 415.4.Wildfires in 2050 . 425.5.Ecosystems in 2050. 435.6.Public Health in 2050. 445.7.Electricity: Powering Growth in a Demanding Future . 456. Glossary . 47iii

List of FiguresFigure 1. Change in Annual Mean Temperature, San Diego Region from the ThreeGCMs, for Historical Period (blue) and for A2 (red) and B1 (brown) EmissionScenarios. . 11Figure 2. Winter and Summer Temperature Differences. 12Figure 3. Sea Level Rise Projections. . 14Figure 4. South Imperial Beach . 15Figure 5. Coronado Beach and Shores . 15Figure 6. Mission Beach . 16Figure 7. La Jolla Shores . 16Figure 8. Del Mar Beach . 17Figure 9. Oceanside Beach . 17Figure 10. Projected Water Demand and Supply in 2005, 2030 and 2050, under"Normal Year" and Climate Change Conditions. . 18Figure 11. Simulated Annual-Mean Soil Moisture, Western San Diego County. . 20Figure 12. Days Exceeding 97.3 Degrees Fahrenheit, Miramar A2 GFDL . 25Figure 13. PM2.5 Projections . 27Figure 14. Peak Temperature Change ( F) by 2050 for the Three Climate Models . 29Figure 15. Cooling Degree Day Changes by 2050 ( F) . 30Figure 16. Peak Electricity Demand Forecast. 31Figure 17. Electricity Consumption Forecast . 31List of TablesTable 1. Expected Mortality Change in 2015, 2035 and 2050 from base year 2004. 27Table 2. Increases in Annual Power Consumption Attributable to SaltwaterDesalination Throughout the San Diego Region . 33iv

AbstractThis report explores what the San Diego region will be like in the year 2050 if currenttrends continue. Focusing on interrelated issues of climate change, sea-level rise,population growth, land use, water, energy, public health, wildfires, biodiversity, andhabitat, the report looks at the potential impacts of a changing climate by 2050, bothquantitatively and qualitatively.The forecasted impacts discussed in this study are based on projections of climate changegenerated by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), using three climatemodels and two emissions scenarios drawn from those used by the IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change (IPCC). The impacts are discussed in the context of significantregional growth expected during the period as well as an aging population base.Key issues explored in the report include potential inundation of six selected low-lyingcoastal areas due to sea level rise, potential shortfalls in water deliveries, peak energydemand increases due to higher temperatures, increasing risk of devastating wildfires,migrations of species in response to higher temperatures in an increasingly fragmentednatural habitat, and public health issues associated with extreme temperature events.v

1. IntroductionThe San Diego region is renowned worldwide for its unique combination of mild climate,low rainfall, breathtaking shorelines, mountains, and deserts - all in close proximity. Notsurprisingly then, the region has been one of the fastest-growing areas in the country.This unique set of climate and population characteristics also creates a unique fragility.The complex and fragile interrelationship of urban and natural systems here has beendramatically highlighted by devastating wildfires, as well as by more gradual changes inthe region’s natural ecosystems.These complex and fragile relationships which characterize San Diego County (the termSan Diego County is used interchangeably with San Diego region herein) are exploredfurther in the report in the context of climate change. Higher temperatures, changingprecipitation patterns, and a rising sea level will create new issues that will requireconsiderable planning and coordination activities as well as exacerbate existing stressesdue to regional growth.This study considers the regional impacts due to climate change that can be expected by2050 if current trends continue. The range of impacts presented in this study are based onprojections of climate change using three climate models and two emissions scenariosdrawn from those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Anumber of analytical models wer

This study considers the regional impacts due to climate change that can be expected by 2050 if current trends continue. The range of impacts presented in this study are based on projections of climate change using three climate models and two emissions scenarios drawn from those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A