California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment, North Coast Region Report, is packed full of information relevant to the area's current and future economies, the health and well-being of residents, and the integrity of northern California's ecological systems.
The projected climate scenarios will have an impact on all of California's landscapes. In oak and prairie habitats in northern California, a priority landscape for Pacific Birds, oaks trees may adapt well to the projected hotter and drier regimes – but other vegetation may experience signigicant stresses under future scenarios. Lazuli Bunting, Western Scrub Jay, Western Bluebird and many other avian species will face ongoing landscape change in the coming decades.
Sea level rise will impact the marsh and wetlands habitats so important to birds in Humboldt Bay and other coastal locations. Some of the most extreme projections eliminate these habitats entirely in some areas. As part of our Estuaries priority, we have a strong interest in how climate-related changes will affect Brant, Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Western Snowy Plover and other coastal species.
The message of change is clear in this report, but so is the complexity of the change. "Lost" habitat types will be replaced by others, and the unfolding of some scenarios will depend on what actions humans take in the next few years.