Coastal communities in California are anticipating a climate change scenario in which temperatures will warm significantly during the 21st century, and thus expect an increase in the frequency, magnitude and duration of heat waves and sea level rise extremes. Sea level rise threatens coastal infrastructure and wetlands; increased storminess could lead to damaging floods and mudslides. Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is dissolving into the oceans, leading to increased ocean acidification. This has impacts on corals and shellfish. Water current patterns and temperatures are changing leading to shifts in species habitats and ranges.
These impacts pose substantial threats to coastal ecosystems and communities. As such, coastal Californians have recognized the need to plan for the impacts of climate change. USC Sea Grant is funding research and developing outreach products and education tools to understand the impact of climate change on the biology and chemistry of the ocean (climate change science). Similarly, we are working with local and state governments to help coastal managers adapt to the impacts of climate change (climate change adaptation).
Climate Change AdaptationDecision-makers in Southern California's coastal cities and counties generally recognize that climate change will impact their communities and coastline...more
Climate Change ScienceClimate change impacts are already beginning to affect our marine ecosystems...more