Climate Change

Climate change refers to the change in global weather patterns, especially increases in temperature, storm activity, drought, and wildfires, regarded as a potential consequence of the accumulation in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (greenhouse effect).  Climate change poses an immediate and growing threat to California’s environment, public health and economic vitality.  The state has been a pioneer and a leader in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to plan and prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.  These have been supported by state-sponsored research and monitoring to better understand climate change and its impacts.

Human Health Impacts of Climate Change

OEHHA focuses on human health studies relating increased temperatures to adverse health outcomes such as death and illness including hospital visits, emergency room visits, and birth defects. OEHHA has contributed to the growing body of literature linking deleterious health effects to increasing temperatures and heat waves. These studies have helped identify groups who are vulnerable to heat-related mortality and illness.

Indicators of Climate Change in California

In its capacity as lead agency for the Environmental Protection Indicators for California (EPIC) project, OEHHA compiles a report on Indicators of Climate Change in California to describe the multiple facets of climate change in California. The indicators include drivers of climate change, measurable changes in climate, and impacts on humans, physical systems, animals, and vegetation.

Annotated Bibliography: Recent Research on Climate Change in California

OEHHA has compiled information relevant to climate change and its impacts in an annotated bibliography with an emphasis on California. This annotated bibliography is intended as a source of current and emerging scientific information on climate change for environmental and public health agencies, the research community, non-government organizations, and the public.

Reports, Notices, Documents

Jun 17, 2015: Workshop on Indicators of Climate Change in California
OEHHA convened a workshop to improve upon and explore new metrics for tracking climate change and its impacts on California’s water resources, oceans, fish and wildlife, forests, agriculture, and the health and well-being of the state’s residents. 
Apr 17, 2009: OEHHA Report: Indicators of Climate Change in California
The report identifies 27 indicators that measure the impact of climate change on the state’s temperatures, precipitation, land, water, people, plants, and animals. It concludes that changes in California are consistent with those occurring globally. The report is a meta-analysis of existing research.