Wednesday, October 22, 2014

California Nevada Applications Program

Project Summary

CNAP aims to develop and provide better climate information and forecasts for decision makers in California, Nevada, and the surrounding region. Their research focus includes coastal issues, wildfire, climate change adaptation, health, and water among others. Evaluating user needs is also central to CNAP’s mission and work.

CNAP’s objectives are 1) to evaluate climate forecasts and projections for California and Nevada; 2) improve understanding of mechanisms linking climate and its impacts; 3) develop local models and forecasts of water resources and fire risks; and 4) disseminate climate information, including forecasts and projections, to California and Nevada decision makers.

Select Outputs
  • CNAP has done extensive work on wildfire in the region. This includes wildfire forecasts for fires larger than 200 hectares with a one to six month lead time. These forecasts also estimate expected area burned for large fires and suppression costs. Resource managers at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park have expressed interest in using these forecasts. CNAP researchers have also been directly involved with the California and Nevada Smoke and Air Committee, a collaboration between four federal, two state, and three regional agencies and scientists to create relevant decision support tools. This has resulted in 72-hour forecasts for smoke and fire, which have been instrumental in decision making for planned fire and air quality.

  • CNAP has contributed research and data to Cal-Adapt, the state of California's portal for information about state-specific climate change research. The portal contains downscaled projections for California's future climate up until 2099 using inputs from four climate models and two emissions scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The projections are displayed on an interactive map, and can be compared to historical averages. Images and data can then be downloaded by users. There are currently four CNAP datasets in use on the site: projected daily temperatures, projected monthly temperature, projected monthly snow water equivalency, and projected monthly precipitation. One of CNAP's collaborators at the University of California, Merced has also contributed a fire risk dataset.

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.

Other Resources
  • CNAP Blog: Short updates from CNAP researchers about their research in the field, new publications, events, and climate events and shifts that could impact California and Nevada.

  • CNAP Stakeholder Meetings: A calendar with past and upcoming stakeholder meetings dates, locations and agendas.

  • 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.

Principal Investigators

Dan Cayan
Mike Dettinger
Kelly Redmond

Program Manager

Anne Steinmann


Tim Brown
Sasha Gershunov
Randy Hanson
Sam Iacobellis
Francisco Munoz-Arriola
Jennifer Paolini
David Pierce
Mary Tyree
Tamara Wall
Anthony Westerling

Affiliated Institutions

Desert Research Institute
San Diego State University
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
University of California, Merced
University of Washington
U.S. Geological Survey

Project Website