Department of Water Resources Home

Climate Change 101

DWR recognizes that climate change is already impacting water and other resources in California and will continue to be a significant challenge for our built and natural environments in the future. The DWR Climate Change Team works to educate staff and the public about the basics of climate science so they can be informed and motivated to take action.

Recent Publications

The following recent publications describe climate change indicators, impacts and strategies for mitigation and adaptation in California.

  • Indicators of Climate Change in California

    Climate change is having a significant and measurable impact on California's environment, according to this report released in August 2013 that tracks 36 indicators of climate change and its effects.

  • Reports on the Third Assessment from the California Climate Change Center

    This series of peer-reviewed papers explore local and statewide vulnerabilities to climate change and offers new insights for the energy, water, agriculture, public health, coastal, transportation, and ecological resources sectors.

  • Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States

    This report is a summary and synthesis of the past, present, and projected future of the region's climate. The assessment looks at climate impacts on scales ranging from state- level to watersheds and across ecosystems and regions. It represents the findings of 120 authors representing a variety of disciplines.

Climate Science Basics

The following web links are reliable sources of information about the basics of climate change science.

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

    The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meterological Association (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. The most recent report from the Physical Science Basis Working Group is available on this website.

  • NASA - Global Climate Change

    This comprehensive website covers climate change topics such as evidence, causes, effects, key indicators, resources for kids, and more. Images and interactive videos help explain concepts in interesting and understandable ways.

  • National Academy of Sciences - America's Climate Choices reports

    Produced at the request of Congress, The America's Climate Choices series of reports provides authoritative analyses to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation.

  • National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) - Climate.gov

    This website provides science and information for a 'climate-smart nation'. It is a source of timely and authoritative scientific data and information about climate. The goals are to promote public understanding of climate science and climate-related events, to make data products and services easy to access and use, to provide climate-related support to the privates sector and the Nation's economy, and to serve people making climate-related decisions with tools and resources that help them answer specific questions.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)

    This website focuses on climate change science, including causes and indicators, as well as future projections. Impacts and adaptation measures can be explored by region and sector.

  • United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

    The USGCRP coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The Program coordinates federal research efforts through the following four strategic goals: 1) advance science; 2) inform decisions; 3) conduct sustained assessments; 4) communicate and educate.