California Third Climate Change Assessment: 2012 Vulnerability and Adaptation Study

The '2012 Vulnerability and Adaptation Study' is California's third major assessment on climate change. California produces periodic scientific assessments on the potential impacts of climate change on the state, and reports potential adaptation responses. Required by Executive Order #S-03-05, these assessments influence legislation and inform policy makers. The Third California Climate Change Assessment is a compilation of 37 reports which outline local and statewide vulnerabilities to climate change, for the energy, water, agriculture, public health, coastal, transportation, and ecological resource sectors. The assessment included a regional focus for the San Francisco Bay area, with 9 of the 37 reports dedicated to this region as well.

The third assessment is a product of a multi-institution collaboration among Cal/EPA, Natural Resources Agency, Department of Water Resources, Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, Ocean Protection Council, Department of Public Health, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Department of Transportation, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, State Coastal Conservancy, Department of Fish and Game, Department of Food and Agriculture, and State Parks.

The state has completed two prior climate change assessments. The first California climate change assessment, completed in 2006, began to downscale global climate models in order to provide information about expected climate impacts at a regionally-relevant scale. The second assessment, completed in 2009, provided initial estimates of some of the economic impacts of expected climate risks in the state, such as costs to coastal economies from sea level rise. The Third Assessment supported the development of the Safeguarding California Plan for reducing climate risk (an update to the 2009 California Climate Change Adaptation Strategy).


A brief summary report of the assessment is available -  Our Changing Climate 2012: Vulnerability and Adaptation to the Increasing Risks from Climate Change in California, which was produced by the California Energy Commission’s California Climate Change Center.



Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Related Organizations:

  • State of California


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment

States Affected:

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