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.

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Published
November 2017

As a key part of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) oversaw the production of this stand-alone report of the state of science relating to climate change and its physical impacts. The Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) is designed to be an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States, to serve as the foundation for efforts to assess climate-related risks and inform decision making about responses. 

As Volume 1 of NCA4, CSSR serves several purposes, including providing (1) an updated and detailed analysis of the findings of how climate change is affecting weather and climate across the United States; (2) an executive summary and 15 chapters that provide the basis for the discussion of climate science found in the second volume of NCA4; and (3) foundational information and projections for climate change, including extremes, to improve “end-to-end” consistency in sectoral, regional, and resilience analyses within the second volume. CSSR integrates and evaluates the findings on climate science and discusses the uncertainties associated with these findings. It analyzes current trends in climate change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends to the end of this century. As an assessment and analysis of the science, CSSR provides important input to the development of other parts of NCA4, and their primary focus on the human welfare, societal, economic and environmental elements of climate change. Much of the underlying report is written at a level more appropriate for a scientific audience, though the Executive Summary is intended to be accessible to a broader audience. 

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Published
November 2017

The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing a Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience Plan as a practical guide to implement specific strategies in response to climate change threats (heat, flooding from precipitation, flooding from sea level rise and storm surge). The Alewife Preparedness Plan—the first neighborhood plan to be developed—will test how the proposed strategies might create a new framework for resiliency in Alewife. It comprises two parts: a Report and a Handbook. The Report provides the context, framework, and strategies to create a prepared and resilient Alewife neighborhood; the Handbook, a companion document, is a practical compendium of specific preparedness and resiliency strategies and best practices.

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Published
November 2017

Coastal flooding in the United States is already occurring and the risk of flooding is expected to grow in most coastal regions, in part due to climate change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed this booklet, aimed at the general public, identifies steps people can take to prepare for the health risks associated with coastal flooding. The booklet answers some of the key questions about coastal flooding in a changing climate: why these events are on the rise; how it might affect health; and what people can do before, during, and after a coastal flooding event to stay safe. Scientific information used in the document is derived from peer-reviewed synthesis and assessment products, including those published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as other peer-reviewed sources and federal agency resources. 

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Published
May 2017

This Technical Report presents results from a large set of sectoral impact models that quantify and monetize climate change impacts in the U.S., with a primary focus on the contiguous U.S., under moderate and severe future climates. The report summarizes and communicates the results of the second phase of quantitative sectoral impacts analysis under the Climate Change Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) project. The effort is intended to inform the fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The goal of this work is to estimate climate change impacts and economic damages to multiple U.S. sectors (e.g., human health, infrastructure, and water resources) under different scenarios. Though this report does not make policy recommendations, it is designed to inform strategies to enhance resiliency and protect human health, investments, and livelihoods.

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Published
March 2017

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. 

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Published
February 2017

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.

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Published
January 2017

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.

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Published
December 2016

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

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Published
November 2016

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.

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Published
October 2016

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.

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Published
October 2016

This report promotes a relatively simple solution to the problem of increasing heat and air pollution in cities: plant more trees. Trees cool the air by casting shade and releasing water vapor, and their leaves can filter out fine particulate matter (PM)—one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution, generated from burning biomass and fossil fuels. 

The report documents analysis that tree planting efforts could improve the health of millions of people, and that trees are as cost-effective as many other common solutions. The report also shows that most of the cooling and filtering effects created by trees are fairly localized, so densely populated cities—as well as those with higher overall pollution levels—tend to see the highest overall return on investment (ROI) from tree plantings.

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Published
August 2016

This report features observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including U.S and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts, and wildfires. It documents rising temperatures, shifting patterns of snow and rainfall, and increasing numbers of extreme climate events, such as heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures. Many of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.

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Published
August 2016

This document provides final guidance for federal agencies on how to consider the impacts of their actions on global climate change in their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, providing a framework for agencies to consider both the effects of a proposed action on climate change, as indicated by its estimated greenhouse gas emissions, and the effects of climate change on a proposed action. The memorandum applies to all types of proposed federal agency actions that are subject to NEPA analysis and guides agencies on how to address the greenhouse gas emissions from federal actions and the effects of climate change on their proposed actions within the existing NEPA regulatory framework.

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Published
April 2016

This assessment strengthens and expands our understanding of climate-related health impacts by providing a more definitive description of climate-related health burdens in the United States. It builds on the 2014 National Climate Assessment and reviews and synthesizes key contributions to the published literature. The findings represent an improvement in scientific confidence in the link between climate change and a broad range of threats to public health, while recognizing populations of concern and identifying emerging issues. The overall findings underscore the significance of the growing risk climate change poses to human health in the United States.

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Published
March 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency produced this publication with assistance from federal, state, local, and academic partners. It is designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others plan for and respond to excessive heat events. The guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas. Originally published in June 2006, its Appendix A—a list of federal resources—was updated in March 2016.

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Published
February 2016

Occupational exposure to heat can result in injuries, disease, reduced productivity, and death. To address this hazard, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health evaluated the scientific data on heat stress and hot environments and updated these criteria (last updated in 1986). This revision includes information about physiological changes that result from heat stress; evidence to redefine heat stroke and associated symptoms; and updated information on physiological monitoring and personal protective equipment and clothing that can be used to control heat stress.

U.S. 2015 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters
Published
January 2016

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is the nation's scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather and climate events in their historical perspective. As part of its responsibility of monitoring and assessing the climate, NCEI tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have great economic and societal impacts. Found on these webpages are information on the weather and climate events that have had the greatest economic impact from 1980 to 2015. The U.S. has sustained 188 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2015). The total cost of these 188 events exceeds $1 trillion.

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Published
December 2015

In January 2015, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia asked the Aquarium of the Pacific to take a lead in assessing the primary threats that climate change poses to Long Beach, to identify the most vulnerable neighborhoods and segments of the population, and to identify and provide a preliminary assessment of options to reduce those vulnerabilities. Over the course of 2015, the Aquarium hosted and participated in meetings and workshops with academic and government scientists, business and government leaders, local stakeholders, and Long Beach residents to discuss key issues facing our community as the result of climate change. This report, completed in December 2015, represents the culmination of these efforts. The report offers detailed assessments of the five main threats of climate change to Long Beach: drought, extreme heat, sea level rise and coastal flooding, deteriorating air quality, and public health and social vulnerability. It also provides an overview of what is currently being done to mitigate and adapt to these threats, and other options to consider. Finally, this report presents a series of steps and actions that city leaders and community stakeholders can use as a template for making Long Beach a model of a climate resilient city.

Coer of the King County Strategic Climate Action Planåç 2015 Update
Published
November 2015

King County, Washington's Strategic Climate Action Plan sets forth strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts.

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Published
February 2015

This report builds on Maine’s earlier report from 2009—it is not intended as a comprehensive revision of all aspects of the original report. This update focuses on highlights of the understanding in 2015 of past, present, and future trends in key indicators of a changing climate specific to Maine, and recent examples of how Maine people are experiencing these changes. 

Cover of the Climate Change Research Plan for California
Published
February 2015

Successfully negotiating climate change challenges will require integrating a sound scientific basis for climate preparedness into local planning, resource management, infrastructure, and public health, as well as introducing new strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon sequestration into nearly every sector of California’s economy. This Research Plan presents a strategy for developing the requisite knowledge through a targeted body of policy-relevant, California-specific research over three to five years (from early 2014), and determines California’s most critical climate-related research gaps.

Cover of the Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study
Published
January 2015

Western Water Assessment, in collaboration with the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University, conducted a broad study of climate vulnerability for the state of Colorado. Drawing from existing data and peer-reviewed research, the study summarizes the key challenges facing seven sectors: ecosystems, water, agriculture, energy, transportation, outdoor recreation and tourism, and public health.

Cover of the Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation report
Published
December 2014

The American Planning Association's Hazards Planning Center worked with FEMA to develop Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation. This updated manual offers a no-nonsense explanation of the benefits and limitations of planning for unpredictable events.

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Published
December 2014

This report provides current and relevant climate adaptation information to a diverse audience of legislators, government agencies, policy makers, educators, nongovernment organizations, business, industry, researchers, other stakeholders and the public.

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Published
December 2014

In support of the Eugene-Springfield Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, staff from the cities of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon, with support from the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience, convened meetings in 2014 with representatives from the following sectors: drinking water, health care and public education, electricity, transportation, food, housing, communication, stormwater, wastewater, natural systems, and public safety. The team met for six hours with each sector and, working from a standard list of questions, collected information about the adaptive capacity and sensitivity to specific hazards. This report includes sector summaries resulting from these interviews that reflect the conversations and thinking of the participants. 

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Published
November 2014

This report links climate change projections with their associated health outcomes, and identifies populations and locations most vulnerable to these health outcomes in San Francisco. The goal of the Climate and Health Profile is to support local public health climate adaptation efforts, and advance urban health and environmental justice in the climate and health field.

Cover of the Safeguarding California report
Published
July 2014

This plan—an update to the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy—augments previously identified strategies in light of advances in climate science and risk management options.

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Published
July 2014

A 24-year tradition encompassing the work of 425 authors from 57 countries, 2013's State of the Climate report uses dozens of climate indicators to track patterns, changes, and trends of the global climate system.

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Published
June 2014

This report provides a basic summary of the observed and projected changes to the ecosystems in Hawai'i and their resulting impacts for residents.

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Published
May 2014

The National Climate Assessment assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. It documents climate change-related impacts and responses for various sectors and regions, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.

The assessment draws from a large body of scientific peer-reviewed research, technical input reports, and other publicly available sources; all sources meet the standards of the Information Quality Act. The report was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the 13 federal agencies of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the Federal Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability.

Cover of the Reducing Climate-Sensitive Disease Risks report
Published
April 2014

This report focuses on livestock diseases that are sensitive to climate change. The report aims to help practitioners reduce the risks of key climate-sensitive infectious diseases by strengthening risk management systems for disease outbreaks. The three diseases chosen for the study—Rift Valley fever, Bluetongue, and East Coast fever—spread through “vectors” such as insects and parasites, the prevalence of which fluctuates depending on key weather and climate variables such as temperature and humidity. As the symptoms of climate change continue, the frequency and extent of these diseases are expected to escalate.

Cover of Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
Published
March 2014

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II's contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) relates to climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. A Summary for Policymakers and the underlying scientific and technical assessment are also available.

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Published
January 2014

This update serves as guidance for hazard mitigation for the State of Connecticut. Its vision is supported by three central goals, each with an objective, a set of strategies, and associated actions for Connecticut state government, stakeholders, and organizations that will reduce or prevent injury from natural hazards to people, property, infrastructure, and critical state facilities.

Cover of the Preparing California for Extreme Heat report
Published
October 2013

California’s Climate Action Team developed this document to provide California agencies with guidance for incorporating extreme heat projections and best practices for adapting to heat-related climate change impacts into planning and decision making.

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Published
October 2013

In 2013, the Baltimore City Department of Planning and Office of Sustainability created the Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3) as an effort to address existing hazards while simultaneously preparing for predicted hazards due to climate change. This project develops an integrated All Hazards Mitigation Plan, floodplain mapping, and Climate Adaptation Plan program that links research, outreach, and actions to assure implementation of a comprehensive and new risk-preparedness system for addressing existing and future impacts. Integrating hazard mitigation planning, which focuses on past events, with climate adaptation planning, which focuses on what will likely happen in the future, offers a positive, win-win solution for Baltimore City.

Cover of the Developing Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators report
Published
September 2013

This guidance report helps local health departments leverage existing resources on climate change and public health indicators to make plans and decisions at the local level.

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