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North Coast Climate Symposium Examines Regional Climate Vulnerabilities

By Media Office Staff

The California Natural Resources Agency, the California Energy Commission and partnering organizations will host the North Coast Climate Symposium on Dec. 13 and 14 in Eureka to examine information and outcomes of the California’s Fourth Climate Assessment as well as discuss local climate-related vulnerabilities.

The assessment provides information to build resilience to climate impacts, including temperature, wildfire, water, sea level rise, and governance.

The North Coast report will be examined at the symposium. That report is the regional take on the California assessment report and part of a series of assessments to support climate action by covering climate-related risks and adaptation strategies customized to specific regions. This region includes Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Lake, Trinity, and Siskiyou counties.

Although the North Coast is less vulnerable to climate change impacts than other parts of California because of its extensive natural ecosystems and abundance of water, rising temperatures and changes in precipitation may cause these crucial habitats to alter and disappear.

Many of the region’s native plants and animals require cool and wet conditions. However, the annual statewide temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees in the last century, heat waves are occurring more frequently, and snow is melting earlier in the spring, according to the report.

Higher temperatures during the summer has increased the frequency of extreme heat events that threaten human health, burden water and electric utility systems, and impact land and water ecosystems. Climate change has already started impacting tribal lands through food and water insecurity, loss of culturally valuable plant and wildlife species, increased fire severity, and water pollution.

Not only are indigenous communities on the frontlines of environmental changes, but their leadership is hindered due to the lack of acknowledgement of their sovereign political status and ongoing misunderstanding or misrepresentation of their culture, knowledge and values among scientists and public agencies, according to the report.

The North Coast Climate Symposium will bring together tribal communities, academics, local, state, and federal governments to share information and identify opportunities to align state climate goals and local funding needs.

The symposium, and others like it, are being held throughout California to help communities, policymakers, governments, and environmental organizations better understand and prepare for the local impacts of climate change.

Register for the workshop here.

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