Access a range of climate-related reports issued by government agencies and scientific organizations. Browse the reports listed below, or filter by scope, content, or focus in the boxes above. To expand your results, click the Clear Filters link.
Sea level rise was a major topic of the annual meeting of the National Academy of Engineering on October 9–10, 2016, and the second day featured a forum on adaptation to it. This summary of the forum, which also incorporates material from Robert J. Nicholls’ plenary presentation, outlines a rich and challenging set of problems for engineers, scientists, and those who work with them.
Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, and regulated by thousands of different entities. Power system operators work hard to assure safe and reliable service, but large outages occasionally happen. Given the nature of the system, there is simply no way that outages can be completely avoided, no matter how much time and money is devoted to such an effort. The system’s reliability and resilience can be improved but never made perfect. Thus, system owners, operators, and regulators must prioritize their investments based on potential benefits.
Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System focuses on identifying, developing, and implementing strategies to increase the power system’s resilience in the face of events that can cause large-area, long-duration outages: blackouts that extend over multiple service areas and last several days or longer. Resilience is not just about lessening the likelihood that these outages will occur. It is also about limiting the scope and impact of outages when they do occur, restoring power rapidly afterwards, and learning from these experiences to better deal with events in the future.
From Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu's Introduction: As we marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015, we launched the world’s first comprehensive city resilience strategy, Resilient New Orleans, combining local expertise with global best practices to confront our most urgent threats, adapt our city to our changing natural environment, invest in equity, create flexible and reliable systems, and prepare for future shocks.
It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change. We must end our contribution to it. As the world committed to action in Paris in 2015, so too did we. I signed the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate & Energy, adding New Orleans to the team of more than 7,400 cities in 119 countries worldwide committed to taking climate action.
Forest and grassland ecosystems provide a wide range of services, including wood products, recreation, wildlife habitat, and protection of water quality. These ecosystems are also extremely valuable for their ability to store carbon, with U.S. forests absorbing more than 600 million metric tons of carbon each year. This report describes the role of forests and grasslands in the carbon cycle and outlines considerations for managing for carbon as one of many environmental benefits provided by natural ecosystems. Land management activities can influence the ability of ecosystems to absorb and sequester carbon, as well as provide other ecosystem services, and this report explores considerations for land managers interested in increasing carbon benefits on the lands that they manage.
Green infrastructure can help to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of parks. This guide from EPA encourages partnerships between park agencies and stormwater agencies to promote the use of green infrastructure on park lands to improve park lands and access to parks, better manage stormwater, increase community resiliency to shifting weather patterns, and provide funding to implement and maintain park enhancements that benefit the community. Using a stepwise approach for building relationships with potential partners, the guide includes information on how to identify and engage partners, build relationships, involve the community, leverage funding opportunities, and identify green infrastructure opportunities. It includes recommendations on the types of projects that are most likely to attract positive attention and funding and that provide a wide range of benefits. Included case studies from across the country illustrate approaches presented in the guide.
The Tampa Bay region is known as one of the most vulnerable in the world to wind damage, coastal flooding from storm surge, and rising sea levels. The City of St. Petersburg—with over 60 miles of coastal frontage—has already felt the impacts of storms. The adverse effects from these types of environmental events often impact low-income communities the hardest, as they have the most difficulty bouncing back from stresses and shocks. The City of St. Petersburg is committed to ensuring that investments in making the city resilient are equitable and create a range of opportunities that everyone can benefit from. The Urban Land Institute of Tampa Bay convened top experts in climate resilience from New Orleans, Miami, Boston, and the Tampa Bay region to provide technical assistance to the city on creating an equitable culture of resilience. A grant from the ULI Foundation and Kresge Foundation funded this effort.
This plan sets forth the 2017 federal policy platform of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, an association of 75 U.S. mayors along the Mississippi River. The document sets forth the mayors’ recommendation of federal programs to support and strengthen the built and natural infrastructure of the Mississippi River corridor, proposing specific funding levels and support of several federal programs. Suggestions for finance mechanisms to restore Mississippi River infrastructure are also included.
This guidebook results from the culmination of a year of dialogue among diverse stakeholders in southeastern Connecticut who defined challenges and solutions from extreme weather, climate change, and shifting social and economic conditions. Participants included representatives from nine municipalities, public and private utilities, public health departments, chambers of commerce, major employers, conservation organizations, academic institutions, community non-profits, and state agencies, among others. The dialogue captured six themed planning sectors (water, food, ecosystem services, transportation, energy, and regional economy) in a process that used surface and integrated solutions to address singular and multiple challenges across planning sectors. The guidebook provides a quick reference resource to help shape and inform actions that will advance a regional resilience framework for southeastern Connecticut; an accompanying Summary of Findings captures the project's final outcomes and conclusions, as well as providing a comprehensive account of the objectives, process, and details.
The sea ice surrounding Antarctica has increased in extent and concentration from the late 1970s, when satellite-based measurements began, until 2015. Although this increasing trend is modest, it is surprising given the overall warming of the global climate and the region. Indeed, climate models, which incorporate our best understanding of the processes affecting the region, generally simulate a decrease in sea ice. Moreover, sea ice in the Arctic has exhibited pronounced declines over the same period, consistent with global climate model simulations. For these reasons, the behavior of Antarctic sea ice has presented a conundrum for global climate change science. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop in January 2016 to bring together scientists with different sets of expertise and perspectives to further explore potential mechanisms driving the evolution of recent Antarctic sea ice variability and to discuss ways to advance understanding of Antarctic sea ice and its relationship to the broader ocean-climate system. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
This report details the 2016 collaborative assessment project of the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation and its member tribes—the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes—and partners Adaptation International, the University of Washington, and Oregon State University. The project assessed climate change vulnerability for the Upper Snake River watershed in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon, and combined the best available localized climate projections with traditional knowledge, tribal priorities, and local observations to develop quantitative vulnerability rankings for 16 species of shared concern and a qualitative assessment for an additional 12 shared concerns. The set of 28 shared concerns assessed for climate change vulnerability provided a balanced cross-section of the species, habitats, and resource issues important to the tribes. Along with this report, the project also produced eight summary sheets detailing specific species and habitat vulnerability.
This user-friendly summary is based on the 2015 report “City of Long Beach Climate Resiliency Assessment Report" and “Appendices” prepared by the Aquarium of the Pacific at the request of Mayor Robert Garcia. The report includes clear infographics that describe current and projected conditions in the city. It also describe what the city is currently doing and what else the city and its residents can do.
A private group, the Climate Leadership Council, describes "How a new climate strategy can strengthen our economy, reduce regulation, help working-class Americans, shrink government & promote national security." The group of conservative elder statesmen that authored the statement call it the first time leading Republicans have put forth a concrete, market-based climate solution. Their recommendations are built on four pillars: (1) a gradually increasing carbon tax, (2) carbon dividends for all Americans, (3) border carbon adjustments, and (4) significant regulatory rollback.
This draft Regional Action Plan in support of NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy helps communicate a regional vision for climate-related science in the South Atlantic, providing a framework for scientists and managers to prioritize and accomplish research on climate-related impacts to marine and coastal ecosystems. It promotes scientists working with partners and the management community to construct management approaches that ensure the development of science-based strategies to sustain marine resources and resource-dependent coastal communities in a changing climate. Highlights include establishing a NOAA Fisheries South Atlantic Climate Science Team, expanding scientific expertise and partnerships, conducting vulnerability assessments for South Atlantic species, and drafting a South Atlantic Ecosystem Status Report. The draft was available for public comment through March 24, 2017; the Plan will be finalized in summer 2017.
This guide provides recommendations for effective education and communication practices when working with different types of audiences. While effective education has been traditionally defined as the acquisition of knowledge, Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Alliance programs maintain a broader definition of “effective” to include the acquisition and use of climate-change knowledge to inform decision making. The CCEP Alliance is supported by the National Science Foundation to advance exemplary climate change education through research and practice.
This report is part of a series of six case studies that explore lessons that are being learned by climate collaboratives from around the United States that are bringing together local governments and other stakeholders at the regional level to both reduce carbon pollution (mitigation) and prepare for the impacts of climate change (adaptation). Each case study explores the history and development structure and decision-making methods, funding sources, roles, and initiatives of each of these climate collaboratives. A synthesis report also explores lessons that can be learned by comparing the efforts of each collaborative on climate policy in their regions. These case studies were supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation. In developing these case studies, the Georgetown Climate Center collaborated with the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA).
These state summaries were produced to meet a demand for state-level information in the wake of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, released in 2014. The summaries cover assessment topics directly related to NOAA’s mission, specifically historical climate variations and trends, future climate model projections of climate conditions during the 21st century, and past and future conditions of sea level and coastal flooding. Click on each state to see key messages, figures, and and a summary of climate impacts in your state.
This report summarizes findings from a workshop held in El Paso, Texas, on July 13, 2016. The El Paso-Juárez-Las Cruces region is home to approximately 2.4 million people, most of whom are living in or near the urban centers of Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua), El Paso, and Las Cruces (New Mexico). These cities share characteristics, such as a high proportion of residents of Hispanic origin, median income below the U.S. national average, and a range of climate-related environmental issues that include drought, flooding, air pollution, dust storms, and frequent occurrences of extremely high temperatures during the late spring and early summer. With hotter temperatures and more frequent and persistent heat waves projected for the El Paso-Juárez-Las Cruces region, it is critical to develop more robust systems of institutions, social learning, and partnerships to understand risks and strengthen public health resilience.
New U.S. regional sea level scenarios developed by NOAA and its partners will give coastal communities better, more localized data to help them plan for and adapt to the risk of rising sea levels to their economies and infrastructure.
Climate Ready Boston is an ongoing initiative to help the people and city of Boston to plan for the future impacts of climate change and develop resilient solutions. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh describes the challenge and the city's commitment in the report's introduction: "Climate change poses a greater threat to some Bostonians. The very young and very old, people who do not speak English, and those with low incomes or medical illnesses or disabilities are all at elevated risk. By ensuring that our solutions are built together with those communities and in response to their needs, climate action will help us build a more equitable city. Furthermore, because climate change knows no borders, we will work with neighboring municipalities to address the regional impacts we face together." The Climate Ready Boston website offers proposed solutions and information specific to a range of locales. It also offers a presentation and report on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Projections for Boston.
The Pacific Islands Regional Action Plan was developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to fulfill the NOAA Fisheries mission in the region, and identifies priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the Pacific Islands over the next three to five years. The Pacific Islands Region spans a large geographic area including the North and South Pacific subtropical gyres and the archipelagic waters of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and the U.S. Pacific remote island areas. The Pacific Islands region supports a wide variety of ecologically and economically important species and habitats, from coral reefs to pelagic fish stocks. Climate-related changes in the region include a rise in ocean temperatures, reduced nutrients in the euphotic zone, an increase in ocean acidity, a rise in sea level, and changes in ocean currents. Many of these changes have already been observed and are projected to increase further. These changes will directly and indirectly impact insular and pelagic ecosystems and the communities that depend upon them.
The Gulf of Mexico Regional Action Plan was developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to fulfill the NOAA Fisheries mission in the region, and identifies priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the Gulf of Mexico over the next three to five years. The Gulf contains a diverse range of habitats, including unique coral systems atop salt domes, high relief carbonate banks, and shallow coastal ecosystems that support a variety of commercially and recreationally important marine fish and shellfish. Understanding how the major climate drivers affect the distribution and abundance of marine species, their habitats, and their prey is important to effective management. Climate-related factors expected to impact the Gulf of Mexico include warming ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and ocean acidification.
The National Health Security Strategy of the United States calls on people and their communities to prepare for the threats to health that come with disasters and emergencies, to be ready to protect themselves, and to remain resilient in the face of such threats. The strategy defines resilience as “the sustained ability of communities to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity.” How can communities best incorporate resilience into their approaches and practices, especially in light of the potential consequences of climate change? This resource—prepared especially for community-based groups—provides information from the fields of psychology and other social sciences to help communities better understand and prepare for the adverse effects of climate change
The Northeast Regional Action Plan was developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to fulfill the NOAA Fisheries mission in the region, and identifies priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the Northeast over the next three to five years. The U.S. Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem supports a number of economically important fisheries and a wide variety of other important marine and coastal species, from river herring to marine mammals and sea turtles. The region has experienced rising ocean temperatures over the past several decades, along with shifts in the distribution of many fish stocks poleward or deeper. Other expected climate-related changes include sea level rise, decreasing pH (acidification), and changing circulation patterns that could impact marine resources, their habitats, and the people, businesses, and communities that depend on them.
This report sets out the broad scope of cultural resources in relation to climate change and identifies major directions of action in cultural resources and climate change for the National Park Service (NPS). These directions in turn will help shape and support collaboration with cultural resource and climate change partners both nationally and internationally. The strategy connects cultural resources to the four areas of NPS climate change response identified in the agency's Climate Change Response Strategy released in 2010: science, adaptation, mitigation, and communication. Approaches and methods from other NPS guidance documents, tools and supporting information, and many park- and partner-based case studies are incorporated throughout.
This report documents the efforts of seven partnerships to build resilience of natural resources in the United States. These partnerships demonstrate the benefits of using existing collaborative, landscape-scale conservation approaches to address climate change and other resource management challenges. Their goal is to build and maintain an ecologically connected network of terrestrial, coastal, and marine conservation areas that are likely to be resilient to climate change, demonstrating some ability to support a broad range of fish, wildlife, and plants under changing conditions.
This report documents that the average temperature in 2015 was over one degree higher than pre-industrial times and that the period 2011–2015 was the warmest five-year period on record, consistent with established warming trends. The report further documents that in 2015 another milestone was reached, with globally averaged CO2 levels of 400 parts per million (ppm). The year 2016 is on track to be even warmer and will be the first year in which CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory remains above 400 ppm all year, and for many generations to come.
The probability of extreme climate events since 2011, especially those involving extreme high temperatures, has been substantially increased by climate change, often by a factor of 10 or more. The single most significant event in humanitarian terms, with over 250,000 lives lost, was the 2011–2012 famine in the Horn of Africa, where drought was a major factor.
Since 2010, United Nations Environment (UNEP) has produced annual Emissions Gap Reports based on requests by countries for an independent scientific assessment of how actions and pledges by countries affect the global greenhouse gas emissions trend, and how this compares to emissions trajectories consistent with the long-term goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The difference has become known as the emissions gap. In addition to estimating the emissions gap, the reports focus on key options for achieving the emissions reductions necessary to bridge the gap, and provide an assessment of how these can be accelerated and scaled up. Countries have found these emissions gap assessments useful in informing the political process. This seventh Emissions Gap Report is based on requests by countries for an update that focuses on some of the key issues emerging with the adoption of the Paris Agreement and its specific long-term temperature goal.
The Western Regional Action Plan was developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to fulfill the NOAA Fisheries mission in the region, and identifies priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the West over the next three to five years. The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) spans the entire west coast of the continental U.S. and has significant seasonal, inter-annual, and inter-decadal fluctuations in climate that impact the marine food-web and fisheries. The CCLME is highly important economically and ecologically. Commercial and recreational fisheries in the CCLME contribute significantly to the U.S. economy, and a host of fish, bird, and mammal species depend on the productive waters and lipid-rich food web of the CCLME for their annual feeding migrations. Migrant species include several million metric tons of hake and sardine from the waters off southern California, several hundred million juvenile salmon from U.S. West Coast rivers, millions of seabirds from as far as New Zealand (sooty shearwaters) and Hawaii (Laysan and black-footed albatrosses), and tens of thousands of grey whales from Baja California and humpback whales from the Eastern North Pacific. These feeding migrations allow species to load up on energy reserves as an aid to survival during their winter months in southern extremes of their distribution. Climate-related physical processes that disrupt the CCLME ecosystem may result in negative impacts to U.S. fisheries, migrant species, and the people and communities that depend on these living marine resources.
This report examines efforts to develop and implement climate-adaptation projects in 17 cities across the United States. It also presents interviews and insights from Thought Leaders in the field of climate adaptation.
The study analyzed efforts underway, motivations for action, and how communities went from planning to implementation. The report provides insights into the practice of climate change adaptation, including suggestions for supporting community-based champions who are working to reduce their communities’ vulnerability to climate change impacts.
This guide describes how Climate Central's Surging Seas web tool can be used to support activities that receive points within the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) program. It is informed by conversations with local CRS coordinators and implementers, and with FEMA CRS representatives. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to access and obtain information and downloads from the Surging Seas tool that could be utilized within specific CRS activities in FEMA’s Coordinator’s Manual (FIA-15/2013).
Climate Ready DC is the District’s strategy to make the city more resilient to future climate change. It is based on the best available climate science and was developed through consultation with leading experts within and outside of the District government.
This report provides educators and advisors information, perspective, and resources to help farmers in the Midwest and Northeast prepare for, cope with, and recover from the adverse impacts of a changing climate. Developed collaboratively by scientists, conservationists, and educators, the report translates the best available climate science into usable resources for making climate-informed decisions. Flexible and adaptive management are key to reduce risk, increase resilience to potential disruptions, and even take advantage of opportunities presented by climate change. The Adaptation Workbook provides a structured process to consider potential climate change impacts, management challenges and opportunities, and climate adaptation responses.
With insight from 26 campus and stakeholder advisors, the support of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Transportation Division, and input from regional food supply chain businesses throughout the region, this 68-page report details the process used to assess the Chicago region food system and findings through the three-year participatory research effort. It includes eleven sections with 17 figures to illustrate key concepts, along with extensive supporting materials. The report presents three innovations with proofs of concept that could be applied widely in the region and beyond to improve food distribution, both in rural and urban regions.
Climate change affects human health by making extreme heat more common, more severe, and last longer. That is expected to continue into the future. This handbook explains the connection between climate change and extreme heat events, and outlines actions citizens can take to protect their health during extreme heat. This resource builds on the 2006 Excessive Heat Events Guidebook from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and includes up-to-date climate information from recent climate assessment reports, such as the 2014 Third National Climate Assessment, the 2016 Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States, and EPA’s 2016 Climate Change Indicators in the United States.
This report describes key accomplishments and highlights opportunities for federal agencies and stakeholders to work together on a shared climate resilience agenda. The report builds on lessons learned and outlines three major areas where opportunities exist for innovation, economic growth, and collaboration: through application of science-based data and tools, support for community resilience initiatives, and integration of climate resilience into federal agency missions, operations, and culture.
This handbook summarizes the current state of National Park Service (NPS) climate adaptation and key approaches currently in practice or considered for climate change adaptation in coastal areas in order to guide adaptation planning in coastal parks. The chapters focus on policy, planning, cultural resources, natural resources, facility management, and communication/education. The handbook highlights processes, tools, and examples that are applicable to many types of NPS plans and decisions. One chapter includes a case study of Hurricane Sandy response and recovery strategies, including changes to infrastructure. Another chapter features practical coastal infrastructure information, including cost per unit length of constructed features (including seawalls, beach nourishment, and nature-based features). The level of detail varies by topic depending on the state of research and practice in that field.