For the past half century, the University of California, Irvine has been home to some of the world’s leading experts on the environment, energy, oceans and atmosphere in the Golden State. To share their stories, UCI launched a web special report, “California’s Climate Crisis.”

Through its three main sections – The Problem, Human Impacts and Solutions – the site offers dozens of feature articles, videos, podcast recordings and photographs, with plans for ongoing updates and new stories. The materials outline the UCI researchers’ understanding of the climate issues facing California and the extent to which they are working to counteract the dilemma.

Featured in the report is a section on forecasting flooding, exploring how computational models by Brett Sanders and the flood hazards team can help to manage flood risk and protect Southern California beaches.

As noted in the section, solutions — including beach nourishment and vegetated dunes — require the public and policymakers to have accurate information about projected flood risks. Visualizations produced by Sanders and the flood hazards team help planners and policymakers prepare to mitigate flooding by revealing what floods might damage and destroy.

“We live in a world where flooding is complicated. In most places, only a small subset of stakeholders have access to projections about flooding and the ability to measure the costs and benefits of proposed solutions. We want to make those tools accessible to everyone.”

Sanders has found that these types of models increase engagement among residents, activists, public works officials, emergency management responders and urban planners. Since this comprehensive, dynamic information about flooding can be understood by anyone, it can help move the needle on solving the problem.

Learn more at the full Special Report.