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California Community and Earth-system Integrated Climate Resilience Center (CalCEI CRC)

Active Dates 9/1/2023-8/31/2026
Program Area Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling
Project Description
California Community and Earth-system Integrated Climate Resilience Center (CalCEI CRC)

Minghui Diao, San Jose State University (Principal Investigator)

Qi Tang, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Co-Investigator)

Tarik Benmarhnia, University of California, San Diego (Co-Investigator)

Rupa Basu, California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) / Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) (Co-Investigator)

Stakeholder/Community Advisory Board:

James Kelly, U.S. EPA

Ambarish Vaidyanathan, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Keita Ebisu, OEHHA

Jami Goldman, CSAA Insurance Exchange

Ken Toren, American Red Cross

Sean Wihera, Clarity Co.

Phil Saksa, Blue Forest

Teresa Feo, California Council on Science and Technology (CCST)

The state of California is home to 39 million people and is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the U.S. California faces a multitude of threats from climate change, e.g., catastrophic wildfires, droughts, heat waves, storms, and flooding. An urgency thus exists to build a Department of Energy (DOE) Climate Resilience Center to examine, predict, and remediate climate change impacts on all communities in the region.

The proposal of California Community and Earth-system Integrated (CalCEI) Climate Resilience Center is led by San Jose State University (SJSU), the largest minority serving institution (MSI) in the San Francisco Bay Area and the oldest public institution of higher education in the western states, partnering with the DOE Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), University of California San Diego, and multiple stakeholders and community leaders. Our overarching goal is to examine and predict interactions among climate change and multi-ethnic communities. This project will quantify how the disparity of various climate impacts (e.g., wildfires, heat waves, storms) will be exacerbated by a changing climate and build metrics to quantify the effectiveness and equity of various solutions. This will be achieved through integrating field observations with an Earth system model and other applied science models such as epidemiological models. We will build an integrated modeling framework to support decision makers with their adaptation and resilience planning.

Our proposed work is driven by three key scientific questions, aiming to advance the basic sciences that improve the understanding, forecasting, and mitigation of climate change in California:

1) What are the added values of understanding the spatial heterogeneity of physical processes and key meteorological conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, aerosols, gases and precipitation) at high resolution (3 km) for estimating climate impacts on communities in California?

2) What are the compounding effects of wildfire smoke emissions and extreme heat on public health in the Bay Area in the past five years through selective case studies?

3) How can we build a modeling framework that can translate resilience plans into quantifiable metrics such as public health impacts? What are the health benefits of possible mitigation and adaptation plans (e.g., air conditioning and green spaces) in various communities in the next 50 years?

With increasing capabilities and spatial resolution of Earth-system modeling tools, a critical need exists to develop new capabilities to connect the emerging high-resolution climate simulations with community-level activities for building climate resilience, particularly for high-risk populations. These capabilities to be developed will use climate simulations to support community-scale adaptation plans and decision-making activities. We will leverage new advancements in the DOE Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) regionally refined model (RRM) and atmospheric chemistry, led by co-investigator Tang. The new RRM configuration that became available in December 2022 allows high-resolution simulations at the storm-resolving scale (~3 km) over the entire state of California (~100 km elsewhere in the globe) and can perform multi-decadal simulations with interactive atmospheric chemistry and aerosols at relatively low computational cost (roughly one simulation month per wall-clock day). An integrated modeling framework will be built by linking the E3SM model output with state-of-the-art epidemiological models (i.e., within-community matched design coupled with Bayesian Hierarchical models) led by co-investigators Benmarhnia and Basu. The integrated modeling framework will showcase the capabilities of using high resolution climate models to support communities. We will then develop metrics to quantify the benefits of various hypothetical mitigation/adaptation strategies and assess the potential inequalities for various communities.

This proposed work will focus on three main tasks: (1) developing a new modeling framework that fills critical gaps between Earth system models and other applied science models to quantify climate resilience, (2) leveraging unique observational capabilities at the SJSU Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center to improve E3SM RRM simulations of wildfire smoke and support development of the next generation E3SM model,  and (3) quantifying compounding effects of various extreme events (e.g., wildfire smoke plus heat) and examining the effectiveness and equity of various strategies from 2000 to 2070. We will ensure two-way engagement with our stakeholders and community leaders through every step of the project design and developmental process.

Overall, the missions of CalCEI center are reflected in its name. We will leverage the “integration” of multi-scale modeling tools and observations to quantify effective and equitable solutions, which will support all stakeholders and “communities” to build “resilience” towards a changing climate.
Award Recipient(s)
  • San Jose State University Research Foundation (PI: Diao, Minghui)