Climate Change Hitting California Faster Than Scientists Expected

Extreme heat, rising seas, and other impacts of climate change are turning deadly faster than predicted, California officials warn.

September 3, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden


East Brother Light Station

Naaman Abreu / Shutterstock

In recent months, officials have attributed the spate of destructive fires plaguing California to climate change. Now, the state’s latest Climate Assessment confirms that the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on weather, water, and public health are appearing earlier than anticipated.

By 2050, the new assessment warns, rising temperatures due to emissions could cause up to 11,300 more deaths annually. “Heat-health events”—heat waves that are not deadly but still pose health risks to much of the population—are likely to become a regular occurrence in the summer. These health impacts could cost the state up to $50 billion a year.

The ocean, too, is now expected to rise faster and higher than previously believed—up to 9 feet by midcentury. For the first time, the assessment provides localized projections of sea level rise, finding that coastal cities in San Diego and Orange Counties are most at risk.

Water supply and fire danger are among other urgent concerns identified in the report, which also offers guidance on local adaptation planning.


Monday, August 27, 2018 in Los Angeles Times

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Puente Hills Landfill as seen from the air

More Funds to Transform the Puente Hills Landfill into a Regional Park

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved an additional $28 million to support the development of the Puente Hills Regional Park at the landfill site.

May 23 - Supervisor Hilda Solis

Denver, Colorado

Denver Freeway Widening Plans on Hold

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s plan to widen the Interstate 25 freeway through Denver is one of a few plans to widen urban freeways under consideration in the United States.

May 23 - The Colorado Sun

Fringe Development

Public Perceptions of Sprawl and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Urban density has a bad reputation.

May 23 - Greater Greater Washington

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.