Projecting Future Climate: Cal-Adapt

Due to the changes California faces, it is critical for practitioners to have access to down-scaled climate projections and information.

To support this need, Cal-Adapt has been designed to provide access to the wealth of data and information that has been, and continues to be, produced by State of California's scientific and research community. The data available on Cal-Adapt offer a view of how climate change might affect California at the local level. Here you can work with visualization tools, access data, and participate in community sharing to contribute your own knowledge.


California's Climate Change Research

The State of California is committed to investing in scientific research on the impacts climate change will have across the state, as well as adaptation responses and strategies. For example, since 2006 the State has funded four assessments of California's changing climate and impacts, and each Assessment has shifted its focus in order to develop scientific understanding of climate impacts and to address evolving needs for California.

The Fourth Climate Change Assessment advances actionable science to serve the growing needs of state and local decision-makers from a variety of sectors. The research and tools developed as part of the Fourth Assessment will be added to the Adaptation Clearinghouse in fall 2018, but all final products are available at

If you are interested in learning more about climate change in California, please visit these state websites for further information:

Navigating Tools, Datasets, & Research in the Adaptation Clearinghouse

The table below helps users find climate change tools and other data visualization resources to assist in planning and analysis. You can also download the table as an excel file.

Below the table, you have access to all of the tools, datasets, and research included in the Clearinghouse.

Tool Description Climate Impacts Topics Developer Geographic Extent Observed data (Y/N) Projections (Y/N) Outputs Non-Technical User (Y/N) Technical Summary Data Resolution Alignment with CA 4th Climate Assessment Data Downloadable?
Cal-Adapt State's primary data access and visualization tool to view and plan for the impacts of climate change. Designed to provide access to the wealth of data and information that has been, and continues to be, produced by State of California's scientific and research community. The data available on this site offer a view of how climate change might affect California at the local level. All Climate Projections California Energy Commission (CEC) California Y Y Visualizations; Literature; User Applications (API) Y California Climate Change Assessment. Accessible data includes annual averages, extreme heat, sea level rise, snowpack, wildfire, cooling degree days and heating degree days, LOCA downscaled projections, and more. 6x6 km Yes Yes
Downscaled CMIP3 and CMIP5 Climate and Hydrology Projections The archive is meant to provide access to climate and hydrologic projections at spatial and temporal scales relevant to some of the watershed and basin-scale decisions facing water and natural resource managers and planners dealing with climate change. The downscaled models are the same as used in Cal-Adapt. This data aims to permit several types of analyses, including: Assessment of potential climate change impacts on natural and social systems (e.g., watershed hydrology, ecosystems, water and energy demands); Assessment of local to regional climate projection uncertainty; Risk-based exploration of planning and policy responses framed by potential climate changes exemplified by these projections. All Climate Projections Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory California Y Y Data only N This archive contains fine spatial resolution translations of climate projections over the contiguous United States developed using three downscaling techniques, CMIP3 hydrologic projections over the western U.S., and CMIP5 hydrology projections over the contiguous U.S. corresponding to monthly BCSD climate projections. Archive content is based on global climate projections from the World Climate Research Programme's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 multi-model dataset referenced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, and the phase 5 multi-model dataset that is informing the IPCC Fifth Assessment. 6x6 km Yes Yes
Southwest Climate and Environmental Information Collaborative - SCENIC Access point of weather and climate information for the full extent or any subset of the Southwest US. Users can download various climate datasets and utilize custom built decision support tools to analyze and visualize the data. The purpose of SCENIC is to support the research and decision making efforts of the SW-CSC, the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC), and other stakeholders. Temperature; Drought; Extreme heat; Snowpack Climate Projections Southwest Climate Science Center California; Southwest Y Y Visualizations; Graphs N SCENIC delivers daily data from weather stations across the U.S. from 1890- present. It also provides access to statistically downscaled climate projections (LOCA) developed at SCRIPPS and dynamically downscaled data and model outputs from NARCCAP. SCENIC also provides access to historic gridded datasets like daily, monthly, and annual data at 4 km resolution from PRISM. The complete MODIS and LANDSAT archives can be access through SCENIC via Google’s cloud computing platform Earth Engine. Point (stations); 4x4 km; 6x6 km No Yes
Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability - CRAVe CRAVe is a searchable database of natural and human resource climate change vulnerability assessments developed for the USGS. The assessments housed in the Registry include studies pertaining to species and ecosystems, built environments and infrastructure, cultural resources, and socioeconomic systems. Users must create an account and log in, and can add records. All Multiple Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) California Y N Vulnerability Assessments Y Users of the Registry enter information on a suite of basic information about a vulnerability assessment, including project location and scale, assessment target or endpoint, contact information, managing agency and partner agencies, vulnerability assessment components (exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity), type of climate, sea-level, or hydrological change projections (hazards), methods for determining impact of hazards, and the purpose of the VA. Mulitple No Yes
California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool: CalEnviroScreen CalEnviroScreen is a screening tool that evaluates the burden of pollution from multiple sources in communities while accounting for potential vulnerability to the adverse effects of pollution. CalEnviroScreen ranks census tracts in California based on potential exposures to pollutants, adverse environmental conditions, socioeconomic factors, and prevalence of certain health conditions. Data used in the CalEnviroScreen model come from national and state sources, and the tool is often used by the State to prioritize funding opportunties.
Equity and Environmental Justice; Public Health California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) California Y N Visualizations Y Population, pollution burden, and other public health indicators per census tracts in the state. 2010 Census data Census tract No Yes
Regional Opportunities Index (ROI) The Regional Opportunity Index (ROI) is an index of community and regional opportunity for understanding social and economic opportunity in California’s communities. The goal of the ROI is to help target resources and policies toward people and places with the greatest need, to foster thriving communities of opportunity for all Californians. The ROI provide banks, policy makers, advocates and other key leaders with a powerful tool to identify communities with high levels of vulnerability and communities with characteristics that suggest social and economic opportunity. The ROI assesses key measures of community well-being, and how these patterns vary across different places.
Equity and Environmental Justice University of California Davis: Center for Regional Change California Y N Visualizations Y Map displays an index of opportunity for people, opportunity by location, and population density. The tool uses 2014 Census data. Census tract; people/sq. mi. in tract No Yes
California Healthy Places Index (HPI) Interactive online data and GIS mapping tool that allows users to easily visualize the social and economic conditions that shape health in each neighborhood in California. HPI also moves data into action by providing policy briefs outlining best practices to address risks associated with climate indicators.
Public Health; Equity and Environmental Justice Public Health Alliance of Southern California California Y N Visualizations; Resources Y HPI is validated with life expectancy and provides census tract rankings across the state. Data can also be visualized by county, districts, cities, etc. As of 2017, the Healthy Places Index platform includes climate change indicators. This tool provides graphic overlays of climate risks, vulnerabilities, and indicators of adaptive capacity, along with the healthy places index score, and other key decision support layers. Multiple No Yes
Urban Heat Island Index for California Quantifies the extent and severity of urban heat islands for individual cities, including Urban Heat Island Interactive Maps, showing the urban heat island effect for each census tract in and around most urban areas throughout the state. This can also help identify and prioritize areas across the state for adaptation efforts such as urban greening and cool roofs and pavements. Users can either download static map files, or install Google Earth and navigate the index directly. Temperature; Extreme Heat Public Health; Equity and Environmental Justice; Land Use and Community Development California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) California Y N Visualizations; Resources Y Index is calculated as a temperature differential over time between an urban census tract and nearby upwind rural reference points at a height of two meters above ground level, where people experience heat. The index is reported in degree-hours per day on a Celsius scale – a measure of heat intensity over time. An increase of one degree over an eight hour period would equal eight degree-hours, as would an increase of two degrees over a four-hour period. Census tract No Yes
Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options (TACCIMO) Web-based tool that provides professional land managers and planners the most current climate change science available. It delivers access to the most current peer-reviewed publication findings describing effects and management options, and interactive maps of climate projections and models, that provide insight into climate influences on natural resources. All Forestry; Agriculture U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) California; National Y Y Literature; Resources N The main TACCIMO inputs are findings (text quotations and figures) from peer-reviewed scientific literature that outline climate change effects and management options. Multiple No Yes
Fire Probability for Carbon Accounting Web Map application intended to aid in the summarization of fire probability data for specific project sites. The tool also helps to quantify greenhouse gas benefits of fuel reduction activities funded under 2016-17 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). Wildfire Forestry Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) California N Y Visualizations Y Data represent projected probability of fire occurrence (%) for California, 2026-2050. GFDL and PCM climate models. Emission Scenario: A2 USGS Hydrologic Units: HUC12 Watershed No Yes
National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV) The NCCV allows the user to visualize projected changes in climate (maximum and minimum air temperature and precipitation) and the water balance (snow water equivalent, runoff, soil water storage and evaporative deficit) for any state, county, and USGS Hydrologic Unit (HUC). Temperature; Drought; Extreme heat; Snowpack Water; Agriculture U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California; National N Y Visualizations; Graphs N Downscale models from on-going AR5 IPCC. 800x800 m ; USGS Hydrologic Units (HUC) No Yes
Regional Climate Change Viewer (counties) The simulations are intended to provide high-resolution down-scaled weather and climate data for the past, present, and future for use in climate-related research. This tool presents information by county. Temperature; Extreme Heat; Snowpack; Drought Water; Agriculture U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California; National Y Y Visualizations; Graphs N Dynamically downscaled global climate simulations using a regional climate model, RegCM3. Includes temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, snow, growing degree days, and evapotranspiration projections between two climatological periods. 15x15 km No Yes
Regional Climate Change Viewer (hydrological) The simulations are organized by hydrologic unit, and are intended to provide high-resolution weather and climate data for the past, present, and future for use in climate-related research. This tool presents information by USGS Hydrologic Units (HUC). Temperature; Extreme Heat; Snowpack; Drought Water; Agriculture U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California; National Y Y Visualizations; Graphs N Dynamically downscaled global climate simulations using a regional climate model, RegCM3. Includes temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, snow, growing degree days, and evapotranspiration projections between two climatological periods. 15x15 km No Yes
Climate Mapper (Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs, MACA) This mapping tool provides a series of maps for relevant climate and hydrology information from past conditions and for projected future conditions across the United States to assist with decisions related to agriculture, drought, and fire conditions. Temperature; Drought; Extreme heat; Snowpack; Wildfire Agriculture; Water; Forestry Northwest Knowledge Network California; National Y Y Visualizations; Graphs N The Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) method is a statistical downscaling method which utilizes a training dataset (i.e. a meteorological observation dataset) to remove historical biases and match spatial patterns in climate model output. Downscales the model output from 20 global climate models of the Coupled Model Inter-Comparison Project 5 (CMIP5) for the historical GCM forcings (1950-2005) and the future Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) RCP 4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios (2006-2100). 4x4 km; 6x6 km No Sources Linked
Threat Assessments on California Rangelands Developed six scenarios organized around the management question: "How can we maintain viable ranchland and their ecosystem services in light of future integrated threats?" The scenarios represent alternative futures of climate/land use/hydrological change for the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition focus area. These scenarios were then used to quantify and map three main rangeland ecosystem services—wildlife habitat, water supply, and carbon sequestration. This visualization tool allows the user to view changes in these ecosystem services across scenarios and years. Drought; Temperature; Snowpack Agriculture; Biodiversity & Habitat California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CA LCC) Select Area: Central Valley, surrounding foothills, and interior Coast Range N Y Visualizations N Downscaled land-use land-cover change scenarios and downscaled global climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) A2, A1B, and B1. Probabilistic growth model, FORE-SCE, (FORecasting SCEnarios of future land cover) to model the distribution of each land cover type across a landscape. Ran the FORE-SCE model for two EPA Level III ecoregions, Central Valley & Chaparral & Oak Woodland. Includes change in the percentage of watershed area with critical habitat relative to 2010; Percent change in grassland soil carbon sequestration potential; Percent change in climatic water deficit relative to the 1981-2010 climate period; Ratio of recharge to runoff for three 30-year climate periods; Water-Wildlife Hotspots: areas where changes in water availability and loss of critical habitat coincide; Average percent change in multiple ecosystem services from 2010 to 2040. 250x250 m No Yes
California Climate and Hydrology Change Graphs This graphing tool presents historical and projected climate and hydrology data values from the California Basin Characterization Model dataset plotted over time for 156 hydrologic basins that comprise hydrologic California. Information includes recharge, runoff, evapotranspiration, climatic water deficit, precipition, temperature, and soil storage. Temperature; Drought; Extreme heat; Sea level rise Water; Agriculture California Landscape Conservation Cooperative California Y Y Graphs N Values for a hydrologic basin and the chosen data variable are plotted on the same graph. The four future climate scenarios were selected to demonstrate a range of precipitation and temperatures projected by the 18 scenarios available from the BCM; they are: MIROC-esm RCP 8.5 (warmest, driest), CRNM RCP 8.5 (wettest and warm), CCSM4 RCP 8.5 (mid-range, closest to ensemble mean), and GFDL A2 (a moderately warmer, drier future). USGS Hydrologic Units: HUC-8 basins No Yes
Modeling Bird Distribution Responses to Climate Change Provides probabilities of occurrence of California Birds Species of Special Concern modeled using present day vegetation and climate variables and for two climate change futures. Temperature; Drought; Extreme Heat Biodiversity & Habitat Point Blue Conservation Science California Y Y Visualizations N Produces maps of bird species distributions, vegetation, or climate variables. Two climate models - GFDL CM2.1 and NCAR CCSM3.0. IPCC Scenario A2. 30x30 km No Yes
Digital Coast Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer The purpose of this map viewer is to provide federal, state, and local coastal resource managers and planners with a preliminary look at sea level rise and coastal flooding impacts. More information on this tool can be found on Sea the Future (formerly known as Lifting the Fog). Sea level rise; Extreme storms; Flooding Oceans & Coasts U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration California; National Y Y Visualizations Y Includes data on sea level rise, local scenarios, mapping confidence, marsh migration, vulnerability maps, and flood frequency. Rounding to the nearest one foot mapping increment to view potential impacts is appropriate based on the accuracy of the elevation and tidal surface data used as mapping inputs. 1 degree grid for sea level projections; Multiple for other data No Yes
Surging Seas Sea level rise analysis, including the Risk Zone Map and other visualization tools and information. The Rizk Zone Map shows areas vulnerable to near-term flooding from different combinations of sea level rise, storm surge, tides, and tsunamis, or to permanent submersion by long-term sea level rise. More information on this tool can be found on Sea the Future (formerly known as Lifting the Fog). Sea level rise; Extreme storms; Flooding Oceans & Coasts Climate Central California Y Y Visualizations; Resources Y Search or navigate interactive tools see maps of areas below different amounts of sea level rise and flooding, down to neighborhood scale, matched with area timelines of risk. The tool also provides statistics of population, homes and land affected by city, county and state, plus links to factsheets, data downloads, action plans, embeddable widgets, etc. IPCC Global Projections. Emission Scenario: RCP 8.5, RCP 4.5, and RCP 2.6. Multiple No No
Adapting to Rising Tides Identifies how current and future flooding will affect communities, infrastructure, ecosystems and economy in the San Francisco Bay Area. The ART Program is integrating adaptation into local and regional planning and decision-making by leading collaborative adaptation planning projects, building regional capacity for adaptation, and providing a portfolio of resources, including how-to guides, findings by sector and issue, and maps and data products. Sea level rise; Extreme storms; Flooding Oceans & Coasts; Land Use and Community Development; Transportation San Francisco Bay Conservation Development Commission (BCDC) San Francisco Bay Area Y Y Guidance; Visualizations; Resources Y Integrated regional shoreline mapping and analysis, using LiDAR data sets, FEMA Coastal Study and Tidal Datums Study, and regional shoreline delineation developed by San Francisco Estuary Institute. Multiple No Yes
Coastal Resilience California Flexible online ESRI-based mapping tool with many data layers intended for use in coastal community planning, allowing for consideration of approaches to address sea level rise adaptation for habitats and human infrastructure. Visualizes and provides analysis on sea level rise, economics of nature-based adaptation, future habitat, community and regional planning for the California coast. Sea level rise; Extreme storms; Flooding Oceans & Coasts; Land Use and Community Development The Nature Conservancy Select Counties: Los Angeles County; Santa Barbara County; Ventura County; Monterey County N Y Visualizations; Resources Y Displays sea level rise visualizations for the coast line, as well as economic evaluations of nature-based adaptation strategies in Ventura or Monterey County, and future habitat options in Ventura County. Allows user to create custom maps and generate a URL to use for sharing the map and data or embed it in another website. Multiple No Yes
Future San Francisco Bay Tidal Marshes: a Climate-Smart Planning Tool The models generating these maps are the first to take into account the ability of marshes to accrete, or keep up with, rising sea levels, in the San Francisco Bay Estuary. The maps cover the entire Estuary, allowing for analyses at multiple spatial scales. This tool displays maps created at a high spatial resolution using the best available elevation data. The tool is the first to provide spatially explicit projections of marsh elevation and bird distributions throughout the Estuary. The Future Marshes Tool will help you: View and query maps to understand how sea level rise may change the extent of tidal marsh habitat and bird species distribution over the next 100 years; Make informed decisions about adaptation planning, restoration potential, and land acquisition given various sea-level rise and sedimentation scenarios; Identify areas both vulnerable and resilient to future sea-level rise.
Sea level rise; Extreme storms; Flooding Oceans & Coasts; Biodiversity & Habitat Point Blue Conservation Science San Francisco Bay Area Y Y Visualizations N Marsh accretion was modeled by ESA PWA using the Marsh-98 model (Orr et al. 2003). Model outputs were linearly interpolated in 10-cm increments for starting elevations ranging from -3.7 to 1.7 m (relative to mean higher high water, or MHHW), and applied to a composite 5-m elevation grid for SF Bay. Results for each possible combination of projected sea level rise, sediment and organic material availability, and target year were combined to produce the scenario layers. Maps of the distribution of tidal marsh bird species were modeled using boosted regression trees (Elith et al. 2008)and described by Veloz et al. (2011). This method is able to fit non-linear functions between environmental variables and the presence/absence of a species. Map values represent the predicted density (birds per hectare) of a species.

Multiple No Yes
CosMos The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) is a dynamic modeling approach developed by the United States Geological Survey that allows more detailed predictions of coastal flooding due to both future sea level rise and storms integrated with long-term coastal evolution. The Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) project uses CoSMoS to create a collaborative, user-driven interface providing coastal California resource managers and land use planners locally relevant, online maps and tools to help understand, visualize, and anticipate vulnerabilities to sea level rise and storms. Sea level rise; Extreme storms; Flooding Oceans & Coasts U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Sections of California Coast N Y Visualizations N CoSMoS models are scaled down to local flood projections for use in community-level coastal planning and decision-making. All modeling results are available as GIS shapefiles, with accompanying metadata, at USGS ScienceBase-Catalog or through the Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) flood mapper. 2-meter Digital Elevation Model (DEM) No Yes
General Plan Guidelines Online Mapping Tool The General Plan Mapping Tool (GPMT) is a useful tool to help communities identify existing resources, including natural resources, roads, buildings, and demographics, and develop open space inventories accordingly. The tool pulls data from multiple state and federal sources into one comprehensive site, and allows supplemental data layers from local jurisdictions. The tool allows mapping of known resources, assets, and needs of the community. The GMPT can be used in conjunction with Cal-Adapt to further support local jurisdictions’ climate change analysis. Temperature; Drought; Extreme heat; Sea level rise; Snowpack; Wildfire; Flooding Land Use And Community Development California Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) California Y Y Visualizations Y Datasets include state and federal publically-available climate and land-use data. Multiple No Yes

All Resources for Tools, Datasets, & Research