Creation of Climate Risk and Adaptation Index
Principal Investigator/Author(s): Owen Doherty
Contractor: Eagle Rock Analytics, Inc
Contract Number: 22STC003
Project Status: Active
Relevant CARB Programs: none
Topic Areas: Environmental Justice, Air Pollution Exposure, People at Risk, Health Risk Assessment, Sustainable Communities, Research & Sustainable Communities, Natural and Working Lands, Climate Change, Climate Risks, Extreme Weather, Climate Change Adaptation, Data & Quantification
The US EPA released their Climate Resilience Screening Index in 2017, a project to investigate the climate change-related risks expected to impact each county in the United States. This CARB contract aims to re-produce the methods that the US EPA used, but on a smaller scale, down to the census tract, and focusing solely on California. Like the US EPA’s work, this tool will assign a single “index” number to each area to rate the risk of climate disruptions, which can be used by researchers and the public to compare climate risks between areas.
The index will be calculated from data collected from other, open, free, and accessible sources, and methodology will be clearly explained so that anyone who sees the tool can understand how it works. Because each place experiences different risks, and because people of different income levels, races, and ages experience climate hazards differently, this tool will account for as many factors as possible. We will work with technical assistance providers and non-governmental organizations to help ensure that the methodology does not overlook anything, anyone, or any place. We will also work with subject matter experts throughout state government to ensure we are using the best and most appropriate data sources.
The goal is to produce an index value for every census tract in California, if possible, and provide a scientific basis for making decisions about which climate adaptation strategies should be taken in each place and can also be used by the public to learn more about the hazards they might face and how to appropriately prepare themselves. These values will be displayed in a map tool which will be designed to be easy to use on a publicly accessible website. We hope this format will empower informed decision-making and result in a more climate-resilient California from the level of state government on down.
Keywords: climate change, climate risk, climate hazards, climate impacts, natural disasters, emergency response, projections, future, adaptation, adaptive capacity, risk domains, governance, built environment, infrastructure, socioeconomic vulnerability, racial equity, priority populations, environmental justice, composite index, climate resilience, spatial data, data visualization, data tool