How is climate change affecting Los Angeles?
In 2012, Climate Resolve teamed up with the City of Los Angeles and UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES) to publish a series of groundbreaking climate studies. By using an innovative technique for downscaling global climate models, Dr. Alex Hall and his UCLA research team have been able to provide assessments that detail how climate change will directly affect us at the local level. The team has been able to project how changes in temperature, precipitation, and our snowpack, will affect us in the future.
Climate Resolve is also working to summarize and contextualize other studies. As new studies are completed, we will update them here.
Local Climate Studies:
Understanding Los Angeles and Climate Change: Even in global climate models with the highest resolution, the Los Angeles region is represented by just about one pixel, meaning the global climate model treats the whole region as though it has the same climate. The local topography -- the coastlines and mountains that create microclimates across the region -- are effectively wiped away.
Here we can see that the topography of the Los Angeles area is quite complex. We know that the current climate differs from the beaches to the valleys, from downtown to the mountains. To understand future climate change in the region, we need to raise the resolution of the global climate model information so our picture of the future is closer to this.
The techniques researchers use to raise the resolution of global climate model projections are collectively called downscaling. The UCLA research team used a new downscaling method to produce climate change projections on the neighborhood-by-neighborhood scale. This took months of calculations on UCLA supercomputers, as well as months of sophisticated statistical modeling and analysis.