Workshop on Indicators of Climate Change in California

OEHHA Climate Change Indicators of California 2013 header image

Workshop Summary

The California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a 2013 report, Indicators of Climate Change in California, a compilation of 36 indicators that characterize the multiple facets of climate change and its impacts on the State’s environment and people.  On June 16 and 17, 2015, OEHHA convened a workshop to improve upon and explore new metrics for tracking climate change and its impacts on California’s water resources, oceans, fish and wildlife, forests, agriculture, and the health and well-being of the state’s residents.  OEHHA will use information from the workshop to help develop its next climate change indicators report, scheduled for release in 2017.  

The specified goals of the workshop were to:

  • Stimulate and collect ideas for indicators of climate change in California
  • Discuss emerging evidence of climate change, its drivers and its impacts that are of particular significance to California and warrant further investigation
  • Get feedback on the existing indicators and how to improve them
  • Explore how climate change indicators can be integrated into climate policy and action

Workshop agenda

Tuesday, June 16, 2015  9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Matt Rodriquez
Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency

Workshop goals
Lauren Zeise, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Keynote address 
Chris Field, Ph.D. and Katharine Mach, Ph.D.
Co-chair and Co-director for Science, Working Group II,
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science

Drivers of climate change

Moderator -- Edie Chang, Deputy Executive Officer, Air Resources Board

Land use change as a driver of local and regional climate change
Lara Kueppers, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Atmospheric indicators quantify baselines and trends in California’s greenhouse gas emissions
Marc Fischer, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory;
Associate Researcher, Air Quality Research Center at University of California at Davis

Impact of mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants on sea level and the hydrological cycle
Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, University of California at San Diego

What we know about ocean acidification on the West Coast
Simone Alin, Ph.D.
Supervisory Oceanographer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Changes in climate and impacts on physical systems

Moderator-- Michael Anderson, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Department of Water Resources

Potential climate indicators for the California energy system
Guido Franco, M.S.,
Team Lead for Climate and Environmental Research, Research Division,
California Energy Commission

Pacific coastal fog: ocean, land, and sky trends = foggy results
Alicia Torregrosa, M.A.,
Physical Scientist, Western Geographic Science Center, US Geological Survey

Tracking California’s hydroclimatology and markers of drought
Glen M. MacDonald, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Geography, University of California at Los Angeles

Sea-level Rise as a Climate Change Indicator:  Now, Certain and Everywhere
Gary Griggs, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Director Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California at Santa Cruz

Ocean temperature, hypoxia, and acidification: detecting the fingerprint of climate change in California's coastal ocean
Emily Rivest, Ph.D.
Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California at Davis

Impacts on humans

Moderator -- Paul English, Ph.D., M.P.H., Senior Science Advisor for the
Environmental Health Investigations Branch, Department of Public Health

Effects of heat on mortality and morbidity in California
Brian Malig, M.P.H.
Research Scientist, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment,
California Environmental Protection Agency

The Color Line Reflected in Green: The racial/ethnic distribution of heat risk-related land cover in relation to residential segregation
Rachel Morello-Frosh, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor, School of Public Health &
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California at Berkeley

Impact of climate change on vector-borne diseases
Vicki Kramer, Ph.D.
Chief, Vector-Borne Disease Section, California Department of Public Health

Climate change and air quality in California
Michael Kleeman, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Davis


Wednesday, June 17, 2015   9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Impacts on vegetation

Moderator -- Chris Keithley, Ph.D., Chief, Fire and Resource Assessment Program, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Utility of strategic forest inventories for developing indicators of regional change
Jeremy S. Fried, Ph.D.
Research Forester, Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program, Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service, Portland, Oregon

Modern trends in California wildfire: amount, type, and ecological implications
David Sapsis, Ph.D. candidate
Senior Wildland Fire Scientist, Fire and Resource Assessment Program,
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Historical and future impacts of climate change to the vegetation of California
James Thorne, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Department of Environmental Science and Policy,
University of California at Davis

Almond and walnut phenology
Robert Hijmans, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California at Davis

Impacts on fish and wildlife                                                               

Moderator -- Kevin Hunting, Chief Deputy Director, Department of Fish and Wildlife

Effects of recent climate change on terrestrial vertebrate ranges in California
Kelly Iknayan, Ph.D. candidate and Steve Beissinger, Ph.D.
Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California at Berkeley

Freshwater climate indicators: Sierra stream invertebrates
David Herbst, Ph.D.
Research Biologist, University of California Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory,
Mammoth Lakes, California

Climate change effects on terrestrial and marine birds:  Consequences for reproduction
Nadav Nur, Ph.D.
Quantitative Ecology Program Director, Point Blue Conservation Science

California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment indicators of climate change and indicators of risk
Toby Garfield, Ph.D.
Director, Environmental Research Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Integrating indicators into climate policy and action

Moderator -- Ashley Conrad-Saydah, M.S., Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy,
California Environmental Protection Agency

Working with the community in communicating climate indicators
Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve

Indicators? What indicators? A local government perspective on climate indicators and action
Kif Scheuer, Ph.D.
Climate Change Program Director, Local Government Commission

Connecting the Dots: Interdisciplinary Indicator Coordination for Effective State, Regional, and Local Action
Allison Joe, M.P.I., AICP
Deputy Director, Strategic Growth Council

Discussion and Closing remarks

What indicators of climate change should California be tracking and reporting on?  
What important gaps exist?

Moderator -- Carmen Milanes, M.P.H.
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Closing remarks
Lauren Zeise, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

You can download the workshop agenda, a detailed summary, and the speaker presentations in the downloads section below.