2050 Is Calling. How will San Diego Answer?

July 01, 2014
Media Contact— Caitlin Coomber / ccoomber@ucsd.edu / 858-534-0580

What might San Diego look like in four decades? Twelve months ago, we explored this concept after the Climate Education Partners and the San Diego Foundation released the 2050 report detailing what climate change might mean to the city. A follow-up report was recently released with updates to the predictions.

In order for the region’s leaders and community members to make informed decisions for San Diego’s future, the report provides up-to-date science on the local impacts of climate change.

The predictions remain ominous, with changing weather patterns and resource challenges expected.

  • TEMPERATURE & PRECIPITATION: Expect to experience hotter and more humid heat waves and less frequent but more intense rainfall.
  • WATER RESOURCES: Warming, compounded by less frequent precipitation, will worsen droughts and threaten imported and local water sources.
  • COASTAL FLOODING: Extreme high tides and winter storms magnified by sea level rise will result in more frequent and widespread coastal flooding.
  • WILDFIRES: Wildfire seasons may be longer and more extreme, with warming temperatures, drier soils and vegetation and less frequent rains.
  • NATURE’S BENEFITS: Coastlines and beaches and the region’s unique plants and animals, along with the benefits they provide San Diegans, will be threatened.
  • HEALTH: More extended heat waves and less nighttime cooling will put residents’ health at risk.
Coastal Flooding
Image courtesy of Climate Education Partners

Area residents provide broad support for climate action, according to recent polling.

  • An overwhelming majority – 84% – of San Diego County residents believe climate change is happening, and almost as many expect the impacts to affect them, their families and future generations.
  • 77% of San Diego County voters believe that they can have a clean environment and a strong economy at the same time without having to choose one over the other.
  • 72% of San Diego County voters believe that the San Diego region should take a leadership position in setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Local governments and public agencies in the region are working with nonprofits, businesses and community organizations to address these issues.

To read the full report that outlines the specific regional impacts of climate change and the actions leaders are engaged in to address these impacts, visit www.sandiego.edu/2050.

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.