California Nevada Applications Program
Mission and Vision
The California-Nevada Applications Program (CNAP) develops and provides climate information and forecasts for decision-makers in California, Nevada, and the surrounding region. CNAP researchers collaborate with stakeholders to (1) develop information and tools for climate adaptation, (2) provide decision support for environmental resources management, and (3) explore and predict potential effects of climate change and variability.
CNAP bridges climate science and society through regional applications in three main sectors: water resources and hazards, wildfire, and coasts. Evaluating user needs is also central to CNAP’s mission and work.
CNAP researchers work with a range of decision-makers, scientists, and stakeholders, from agencies, industries, and organizations, and at the federal, state, regional, and local levels. Recent partnerships include the California Department of Water Resources, Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative, California Energy Commission, Nevada EPSCoR, Western Governors’ Association, Native American Environmental Protection Coalition, Metropolitan Water District, San Diego County Water Authority, University of California School of Medicine, California Landscape Conservation Cooperative, California Rural Water Association, California Emergency Management Agency, National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), NASA AMES Research Center, Devils Postpile National Monument, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Forest Service Region 5, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Southwest Climate Science Center.
CNAP is involved in a range of applications-oriented projects.
Floods Winter storms can bring high winds, heavy rainfalls, major floods, storm surges, and coastal erosion to California. CNAP led the creation of the ARkStorm Scenario, a disaster preparation effort, based upon realistically persistent “atmospheric river” storm sequences. Working with more than 100 experts and stakeholders, the ARkStorm effort determined that an extreme storm and flood sequence would require large-scale evacuations to avoid massive loss of life, with potential costs of over $700 billion across the state. Widespread communication and transportation disruptions would be the most pressing consequences in Nevada. Results indicated the need for improved flood protection, preparedness, and forecasts, which in turn can be improved with better observations and advanced modeling. CNAP is also working closely with the Department of Water Resources on its evolving Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.
Droughts Drought is one of the most costly forms of natural disaster, inflicting billions of dollars of damage annually across the country. CNAP researchers are providing information to a wide range of decision makers through publications, reports, media interviews, meetings, and workshops. To improve drought preparedness, CNAP is leading activities, involving more than 100 water agencies, organizations, industries, tribes, and other stakeholders, to develop and provide early warning information to decision-makers throughout the State of California, as part of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Results include drought monitoring and forecast products to help stakeholders assess and better predict drought conditions, communicate drought information to the public, and reduce drought impacts.
Wildfires California and Nevada are exposed to significant wildfire risks and damages. CNAP researchers have helped to create monthly and seasonal outlooks of significant fire potential. CNAP has also developed scenarios for wildfire under climate change for the western U.S., which are being used to develop air pollution and carbon emissions scenarios for stakeholders, and future fire management planning. CNAP research has generated a large set of scenarios for residential property risks, revealing potential vulnerabilities and effects of policy options. CNAP also provides training and outreach on using climate information for fire management activities.
Coasts CNAP contributed to a survey of nearly 600 California coastal professionals revealed concerns about potential impacts of climate change on coastal resources. CNAP is working with coastal professionals to provide climate information can help coastal communities to prepare and adapt. CNAP is working with the California Ocean Science Trust and the California Department of Water Resources to update FEMA coastal flood preparedness guidance with new information on effects of sea level rise and coastal storm effects.
Climate Variability and Climate Change CNAP developed and co-sponsored the Great Basin Climate Forum, to inform and network about climate variability issues among scientists and resource managers in the Great Basin. CNAP has played a key role in a series of ongoing assessments of climate change in California and in the Southwestern U.S., focusing on potential impacts of regional climate change and sea level rise. CNAP researchers have contributed to the Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States, and to the National Climate Assessment. On a more local level, CNAP is investigating and educating decision makers in the San Francisco Bay and Delta region, and also has contributed to the San Diego 2050 Assessment and recent San Diego 2050 Update. On a State of California level, CNAP has contributed to a series of Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments. CNAP research and interactions with decision-makers have informed policy formulation, helping to motivate California’s aggressive mitigation commitments and providing scientific bases for climate adaptation, a necessary complement to mitigation.
Decision Support Tools
ARK Storm: CNAP coordinated the the meteorological and formulation of a NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey project examined California's preparedness for a cataclysmic flood. Researchers are looking at the results and formulating suggestions for policymakers. USGS Relevant Publication.
Drought and NIDIS: CNAP is leading studies in California to promote drought preparedness, and to provide monitoring and forecast information to inform decisions and reduce impacts. CNAP researchers are working with a range of stakeholders throughout California as part of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
Downscaled Climate Model Simulations: In collaboration with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, CNAP researchers are developing a revised analogues-based statistical downscaling method, which will generate simulations at 1/16 degree over the conterminous U.S. from a large subset of CMIP5 global climate model projections. These downscaled simulations will be made available via a community data portal and the California_nevada segment will also be provided through the Cal-Adapt data and visualization facility.
California Climate Data Archive: Access to data and analysis tools for climate data in California.
Great Basin Weather and Climate Dashboard: Access to a wide variety of climate-related imagery and information in one location.
CNAP Blog: Short updates from CNAP researchers about their research in the field, new publications, events, and climate events.
CNAP Newsletters: Highlights of CNAP research, applications, and outreach activities. 1. 2014 California Drought; 2. California NIDIS Project.
Our Changing Climate (pdf): The summary of the Third Assessment comprehensive California Changing Climate report highlights findings from 24 studies that focused on local and statewide vulnerabilities, considering opportunities for action to reduce impacts.
California Climate Extremes (pdf): A report on the latest research on California's climate extremes in the present and future and their impacts based on input from a 2011 workshop held by CNAP for over 150 stakeholders, decision makers, and researchers.
California Coastal Adaptation Needs Assessment: CNAP contributed to a needs assessment of California coastal management professionals to understand what they need to prepare for and respond to the effects of accelerating climate change.
Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest: CNAP contributed sections on climate variability, water resources, changes in climate means and extremes, wildfires and other aspects of this comprehensive stand-alone report. The Southwest Assessment was also a contribution to the National Climate Assessment (2014). A quick "Summary for Decision Makers" overview is available.