Climate Change

Global warming and the effects of climate change pose great risks for Californians. Climate change will result in more frequent and more intense forest fires, more air pollution and deadly heat waves, a significant reduction in the snowpack and state water supplies, sea level rise and erosion along California's long coastline, and billions of dollars in damage to our agricultural, tourism, recreation, and other industries. These impacts have the potential to be hugely disruptive to how local governments operate.

Warning that Earth is rapidly approaching a tipping point at which human impacts are causing alarming levels of harm to our planet, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently joined more than 500 world-renowned researchers and scientists to release a groundbreaking call to action on climate change and other global threats to all humanity. The 20-page consensus statement, produced at the Governor’s urging and signed by more than 500 concerned scientists, translates key scientific findings from disparate fields into one unified message for policymakers, industry and the general public. This statement aims to improve the nexus between scientific research and political action on climate change. The full text of the statement and the list of the over 500 scientists who signed the document is available here. The signatories hail from 44 countries and include two Nobel laureates, 33 members of the U.S. National Academy of the Sciences and members of international scientific academies.

The Federal Government has a climate change data website where you can find data related to climate change that can help inform and prepare America’s communities, businesses, and citizens.

New Report Finds that Climate Warming is Unequivocal

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Summary for Policymakers for the Fifth Assessment in September 2013. The report finds that evidence of warming is “unequivocal” and that it is “extremely likely” that human influence has been the dominant cause of that warming. The latest observations illustrate the changes that are already underway. The observations show: increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, rising air and ocean water temperatures, declines in the extent of arctic ice, and declining pH in ocean waters.

Visit here for a slideshow showing some of the key findings from the report.

Spiralling Global Temperatures

For full animated graphic, visit Climate Lab-Book

The Climate Web

The Climate Web uses TheBrain® software. It’s a uniquely powerful tool for organizing huge amounts of information and for linking this information together in ways that make it easier for you to find “actionable knowledge.” It is not an exaggeration to say that you can find virtually ANYTHING relating to climate change in the Climate Web, including hundreds of climate change resources you are unlikely to come across anywhere else.

For more information, please visit the Climate Web at:

Story Map

Please click on the map to take you to the interactive website.

This StoryMap was created by a group of Stanford students led by graduate student instructors Alexis Mychajliw and Melissa Kemp, under the guidance of Professor Elizabeth Hadly. Here we present how forces of global change are manifested locally throughout California, with the intent to inform the public, businesses and policymakers about the human dimensions of environmental change. We are deeply grateful for the help provided by numerous people in the creation of this map.


OPR provides tools and guidance for local governments to address climate change as follows:

  • Publication of technical advisories and regulatory guidelines;
  • Coordination of State online resources that local governments can access to understand the potential impacts of climate change on their jurisdiction and how to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • Ongoing creation and support of a technical assistance and best practices learning network for local governments.
  • "Climate Changers" is an innovative video initiative to share hot lessons and cool solutions. We invite you to browse through our video library and to subscribe to our YouTube page.

Please refer to the Planning Resources for additional information on tools and resources available for local government climate change planning. For a further discussion of the impacts of climate change in California and the State’s efforts related to climate change research, mitigation, adaptation, and joint action, see the 2010 Climate Action Team report to the Governor and Legislature (December 2010).