The “Extremely Warm” forecast provides California temperature projections for the middle and end of the century

Matthew Davenport of Santa Rosa pulls his fishing boat onto a trailer at Redbud Park in Clearlake, amidst an algal bloom, exacerbated by the three year drought and hot temperatures, Friday, July 29, 2022.  (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2022
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The platform also offers links to various grant programs and other resources for building weatherization, solar installation, neighborhood greening, energy-efficient air conditioning, low-carbon transportation alternatives, planning assistance, and other assistance for schools, local governments, and low-income communities. or indigent homeowners.

Dialesandro said the idea is to empower government agencies and community groups to target mitigation efforts where climate justice is most needed.

“Heat is kind of invisible,” I said. “They wanted to visualize how these scenarios would play out in the future and where we are now.”

The Healthy Places Index is not the only source for such information. Climate resilience planning has for some time focused on future forecast conditions, potential mitigation measures and issues of climate justice. Provides access to local climate forecasts, e.g California Thermal Assessment ToolFunded by the California Department of Natural Resources, it covers projected heat events affecting health with data on social vulnerability, health and the environment.

There is also a new federal website, heat.govprovides a wealth of information on weather and health, with a new focus on extreme weather risks such as wildfires, drought, disease and extreme heat.

Dialesandro said the HPI thermal publication’s ability to enter an address and create a detailed data profile sets it apart and “paints a more visible picture of the likely scenario that we’re on the right track.”

It is still a developing tool

Barbara Lee, director of climate action and resilience for Sonoma County, said the Extreme Heat Index is a useful tool for the kinds of planning the county is doing to help residents face the future.

Although much of it is still developing, the county is deeply involved in developing emergency planning, resilient soil strategies and programs to help residents take individual actions to help prepare their homes to cope with temperature extremes.

Part of the focus, Lee noted, is preparing for extreme heat events, which often go hand-in-hand with high fire danger and intentional power outages when buildings need cooling the most.

That means increasing information and awareness about the risks of heat exposure, signs of trouble, and simple but necessary steps like consuming enough water to replace what’s lost through heat and/or activity, Lee said.

It also means ensuring that people have somewhere to go to find comfort – be it a well-insulated and air-conditioned building, a shady spot, a leafy tree or other greenery.

One project involves retrofitting the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, which currently lacks air conditioning, to serve as a high-efficiency, solar-powered cooling center or shelter. the county’s energy and sustainability program manager. The county is also working to acquire portable systems that can be strategically placed around the county during emergencies, including to assist with power cooling units, he said.

The Energy and Sustainability Division offers workshops for homeowners on many climate resilience topics, from the basics of solar and battery storage to financial upgrades. The county offers funding for more than 100 improvements, including things like air sealing, insulation, cool roofing and upgraded windows. Elias said she can assist single-family, multi-family and commercial entities with tailored grant programs.

In the natural environment, the county recently released a draft Sonoma County Climate Resilient Lands Strategy aimed at bringing climate resilience to those most at risk through natural buffer zones, urban runoff restoration and support, among others. regenerative agriculture.

Lee said the county is already seeking funding to help plan a series of connected green corridors that will run through built-up urban environments with less access to open space.

“It doesn’t have to be one long park,” he said, but more “like pearls on a string,” with a park next to a bike path or a community garden next to a farm.

Conceptually, they would run east to west through the Larkfield/Wikiup and Cotati/Rohnert Park areas, as well as from northeast Santa Rosa to the Springs region of western Sonoma. Another corridor is envisioned from northwest Santa Rosa south to Rohnert Park.

Lee said the county wants to draw residents from the affected areas to work on the plans with the help of community groups and nonprofits, so there’s real public participation.

“We know we’re going to experience this level of extreme heat,” Lee said. “We’re going to live them locally here in the future, and what we’re doing now is to continue to provide the services we need to deliver and identify all the places we need to think about.”

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or @MaryCallahanB on Twitter.

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