NSF-funded project involving 3 other UC campuses will use advanced simulations

When it comes to addressing climate change perhaps one of the biggest challenges is showing how this environmental concern impacts our daily lives right here in California.

Launched with funding from the National Science Foundation’s Coastlines & People initiative, the UCI-led effort will employ advanced simulation systems to deepen the understanding of increasing flood risks within the state’s two most at risk areas- Greater Los Angeles and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

To frame how climate change is increasing the risk of coastal flooding, Brett Sanders, UCI Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, recently commented on what is quickly becoming a serious threat to the socioeconomic balance of our state. “Coastal flooding poses major challenges worldwide that are worsening with climate change and the continued expansion of coastal cities. Over just the past few years, the U.S. has suffered hundreds of billions of dollars in losses from flooding disasters linked to hurricanes and intense rainfall, and both the delta and L.A. metro regions are vulnerable to flooding disasters."

Brett Sanders
In the early stages of the project, Sanders and other scientists at UCI’s Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation will combine fine-resolution computer simulations with exposure data to assess the likely range of effects coastal flooding will have on populations and infrastructure. Researchers from UCI, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside and UC San Diego will then use that information to gauge how flooding impacts will be distributed across social strata, and what the implications would be for governance within and across impacted communities.