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Climate Change in Long Beach

As part of the LB CAP process, the most up-to-date science and local climate projections for the main climate change impacts—extreme heat, sea level rise, and precipitation— and two secondary impacts relating to air quality and drought were reviewed. The City used this information to carry out a Climate Vulnerability Assessment, which explored how these climate stressors will impact different types of city assets. As climate models and projections are improved and updated with new data and observations, they will be used to inform future updates of the LB CAP.The Long Beach community will be negatively impacted by an increase in the number of extreme heat days, rising sea levels and increased precipitation, and other climate stressors as highlighted in the graphics below.

Extreme Heat
Arrows showing Increase in Projected Days of Extreme Heat (95 degrees and above): 1980-2000: 4 days, 2008-2017: 9 days, Mid-Century: 11-16 days, End of Century: 11-37 days. Urban Heat Island Effect: As extreme heat gets worse, the urban heat island effect will likely accelerate.  Structures within a city such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and reflect heat more than natural landscapes. This effect can cause urban areas to be 1–7°F  hotter in the daytime than outlying areas. The urban heat island effect impacts low-income areas and communities of color in North, Central, and West Long Beach the most. Image shows city with heat lines radiating from it under a sun.

Sea Level Rise and Increased Precipitation
Projected Sea Level Rise. Rising seas and heavier storms are expected to threaten our shoreline and lead to increased flooding inland. Image shows a city with rain clouds above it and water below it. Projected Sea Level Rise: 2030: 11 inches, 2050: 24 inches, 2100 (Mid range): 37 inches, and 2100 (High range) 66 inches. Certain low-lying areas are expected to be at greater risk due to sea level rise in combination with high tides, storm events, and more intense precipitation.  Image shows storm waves and storm clouds with lightning strikes.

Temperature and precipitation changes are expected to worsen droughts and reduce snowpack. and access to imported water, all while increasing demand for water. Image shows mountains with snow caps and an arrow showing the transformation to green mountains with rain. Local water demand is expected to increase without a shift to drought-tolerant plant species. The Los Angeles region is expected to experience an overall drying trend with longer and more frequent droughts. Image shows a range of drought tolerant, California native plants.

Air Quality
Rising temperatures worsen air pollution. Higher temperatures are expected to increase smog, wildfire activity, and energy consumption, contributing to reduced air quality. Image shows a factory emitting pollution and a thermometer showing rising temperatures. Air quality varies greatly in Long Beach. Impacts will be felt most by people sensitive to poor air quality and communities adjacent to emission sources. Images shows elderly people, children, and someone wit respiratory issues coughing, additionally car and airplane are shown to represent sources of pollution.

How Emissions Impact Long Beach

GHG emissions that contribute to climate change come from multiple sectors. Developing meaningful reduction strategies and evaluating their ability to meet a GHG target first requires an understanding of the community’s baseline and projected future emissions levels.The City developed a production inventory that analyzes emissions from local activities such as vehicle travel, building energy use, and waste disposal. Emissions occurring from vessel operations at the Port of Long Beach are, in part, regulated at the state level by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the City of Long Beach does not have the direct authority to dictate emissions reduction policies for private shipping companies that operate from the port. For this reason, port waterborne activity is not considered for GHG target-setting purposes.

Where do our emissions come from?

Where do our emissions come from? 44% Transportation (cars, trucks, etc.), 26% residential & commercial buildings, 6% waste, 25% manufacturing construction, and energy

How Climate Change Affects Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are the complex social and economic circumstances, in which people are born, grow up, live, and work. These circumstances are shaped by a wider set of forces including economics, social policies, and politics. Some social determinants of health are healthcare services, transportation, education quality, poverty, public safety, and food security. Climate change will affect individual’s social determinants of health in many different ways.