California falling short on rising seas San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2013 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 3:46 pm, Friday, January 18, 2013 The tragedy set off a decades-long campaign to ensure it never happened again, as the nation adopted an essentially zero-tolerance policy for mass flooding. California has done more than most states to prepare for the challenges of climate change, but when it comes to the dangers of sea level rise, experts fear the state still isn't doing nearly enough. 'A lot of risk'In late 2008, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order directing the California Resources Agency and other groups to study the risk of sea level rise, while requiring state agencies to consider those projections in future project planning. Just getting startedSo far, the agency spearheading most of early regional research into sea level rise is the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.Among other efforts, the body is working with several dozen local, state and federal organizations to carefully evaluate the vulnerability of the Alameda County shoreline from Emeryville to Union City. [...] rather than one dramatic fix, she said, it will likely come down to a combination of hard and soft approaches that can be rolled out for specific sites as rising tides require: new levees, raised seawalls, expanded wetlands and improved drainage. "The 100-year standard has driven levels of protection below economically optimal levels, has encouraged settlement in areas behind levees, and resulted in losses of life and vast federal expenditures following major flood and hurricane disasters," concluded a committee organized by the National Research Council to draw lessons from Hurricane Katrina. Scientists say that global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, scrambling the math of risk analysis based on historic patterns.