Future Extreme Heat in California’s San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley – growing much of the nation’s fruits and nuts – is one of the wealthiest farm regions in the US, but one that is also challenged by high rates of poverty. In addition to these opposing socioeconomic dynamics, it is among the fastest growing regions in California. But population numbers are not all that will rise. Temperature and precipitation extremes will increase in frequency and severity as a result of unabated climate change. The Union of Concerned Scientists published this series of blogs to better understand future conditions in the Valley and their potential impacts on people and infrastructure under three climate scenarios. The blogs explore: population growth, future climate extremes, and how infrastructure development needs to be climate-smart and equitable; an analysis of how projected extreme heat will affect children, outdoor activities, and implications for school infrastructure and operations; and an analysis of the impacts of extreme heat on the electricity grid, implications for the climate readiness of the grid, and recommendations to enhance resilience and reliability of the electricity grid.

Download the methodology.