California Releases Application That Shows Projected Climate Change Impacts on Desert Ecosystems

During this week’s sold out California Climate Change Symposium, the California Energy Commission introduced an application that shows how climate change could alter California desert ecosystems and the natural range of species.

The Climate Console provides information that can improve landscape-level planning to better account for climate change. It was developed by the Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) and leverages Data Basin, a web-based geospatial data management and mapping platform. Both use the results of 20 climate change models that can be added to, downloaded and combined to show how environmental variables—such as temperatures, precipitation and aridity—are expected to shift as the climate changes.

“The Climate Console provides information that local, state, and federal agencies can customize and use to identify vulnerabilities, develop comprehensive and flexible plans and facilitate coordinated planning efforts,” said California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas.

The tool can support state agencies’ climate adaptation efforts tied to climate change mitigation goals established in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s April Executive Order. That order called for a greenhouse gas reduction goal 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the most aggressive carbon reduction target in North America.

The Commission worked with CBI to develop the console and make available the climate information that was used to prepare the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and provide a tool for implementing it.

The console is being expanded statewide and will be linked to Cal-Adapt so users can easily share and add data. The Commission is hosting a webinar on Monday, August 31 for those interested in seeing how the Climate Console works.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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