UCLA and Zócalo Public Square hosted a panel discussion at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy titled, “What Will California’s Coastline Look Like in 2100?” on July 10, 2019. Rosanna Xia (Environment Reporter at the Los Angeles Times) moderated the panel which focused on the dangers that climate change poses to the California coastline. Panelists Alex Hall (UCLA atmospheric and oceanic sciences), Sean Hecht (Environment, UCLA School of Law), and Effie Turnbull Sanders (California Coastal Commission member) discussed how sea level rise is likely to impact public and private interests along the California coastline. Panelists also discussed strategies for preventing the most catastrophic sea level rise scenarios.
During the discussion, Hall explained that conservative estimates place sea level rise around 2 feet by 2100. However, Hall cautioned that sea levels could rise as high as 11 feet by 2100 in a worst-case scenario.
These estimates of sea level rise are calculated using climate models that project current data to future scenarios. Climate modeling can also be used to predict other impacts of climate change like temperature rise and changes in weather patterns.