Caltrans Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: District 4

Caltrans Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: District 4

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Caltrans Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: District 4
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    The following report was developed for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to summarize a vulnerability assessment conducted for assets in Caltrans District 4. The assessment was developed to specifically identify the potential effects of climate change on the State Highway System in District 4. This is the first of 12 such studies that will eventually cover each region in the State. Climate change and extreme weather events have received increasing attention worldwide as potentially one of the greatest challenges facing modern society. Many state agencies—such as the California Coastal Commission (CCC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR)—have developed approaches for understanding and assessing the potential impacts of a changing climate on California's natural resources and built environment. State agencies have invested significant resources in defining the implications of climate change, and many of California's academic institutions are engaged in developing resources for decision-makers. Caltrans initiated the current study to better understand the vulnerability of California's State Highway System and other Caltrans assets to future changes in climate. The study has three objectives: 1) Understand the types of weather-related and longer-term climate change events that will likely occur with greater frequency and intensity in future years, 2) Conduct a vulnerability assessment to determine those Caltrans assets vulnerable to various climate-influenced natural hazards, and 3) Develop a method to prioritize candidate projects for actions that are responsive to climate change concerns, when financial resources become available. The current study focuses on the 12 Caltrans districts, each facing its own set of challenges regarding future climate conditions and potential weather-related disruptions.
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