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.
This BAMS special report presents assessments of how human-caused climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events. This sixth edition of explaining extreme events of the previous year (2016) from a climate perspective is the first of these reports to find that some extreme events were not possible in a pre-industrial climate.
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.
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.
The protocol developed and used in this report is unique in that it is an asset-level assessment of the vulnerability of infrastructure to multiple coastal hazards and climate change factors (e.g., erosion, flooding, storm surge, sea-level rise, and historical flooding) over a 35-year planning horizon (2050). The protocol was applied to all buildings and roads in Cape Lookout National Seashore; the results are summarized in the report.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
As climate changes and ocean temperatures rise, the abundance, distribution, and life cycles of fish in federally managed ocean fisheries may change too. Federal agencies managing ocean fisheries have limited information to determine exactly how climate change might harm specific fish populations, and may not always understand the potential effects. To better manage climate-related risks, the report recommends (1) the development of guidance on how to incorporate climate information into the fisheries management process, and (2) finalizing Regional Action Plans for implementing the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy that incorporate performance measures for tracking achievement of the Strategy’s Objectives.
The Alaska Regional Action Plan (ARAP) for the Southeastern Bering Sea 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 region over the next three to five years. NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center is responsible for marine resources in five large marine ecosystems—the southeastern Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, the northern Bering and Chukchi seas, and the Beaufort Sea. The first ARAP focuses on the southeastern Bering Sea because it supports large marine mammal and bird populations and some of the most profitable and sustainable commercial fisheries in the United States. Climate-related changes in ocean and coastal ecosystems are already impacting the fish, seabirds, and marine mammals as well as the people, businesses, and communities that depend on these living marine resources.
This two-part report is the result of workshops convened in 2015 and 2016. The Part 2 reports documents the second workshop, which brought federal and state coastal managers together with statutory authorities for review and permitting of marine aquaculture in federal waters off the coast of southern California with scientists and other stakeholders.
This two-part report is the result of workshops convened in 2015 and 2016. The Part 1 report documents participants' efforts to develop frames of reference and rationale for creation of an offshore finfish aquaculture industry in southern California.
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.
This guide provides a step-by-step approach for incorporating climate change information into new or existing conservation plans in coastal environments. The guide’s six steps draw from existing strategic conservation planning frameworks, but focus on climate considerations and key resources specifically relevant to the coastal environment, including coastal watersheds.
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.
Rapidly rising seas threaten to drown tidal marshes and diminish the benefits provided to people and wildlife by these valuable coastal ecosystems. Increasingly, government agencies and non-government organizations are harnessing the power of computer-based models of marsh ecosystems to inform management and policy strategies to sustain tidal marshes. This report covers the entire modeling lifecycle, from developing a modeling approach and working with data to communicating modeling results. While some of the information pertains specifically to the northeastern United States, the report is also intended as a useful resource for modeling of marsh migration in other regions. The report is available online, with a printer-friendly version also available for download.
This publication is the annual National Marine Fisheries Service yearbook of fishery statistics for the United States for 2014. The report provides data on U.S. recreational catch and commercial fisheries landings and value, as well as other aspects of U.S. commercial fishing. In addition, data are reported on the U.S. fishery processing industry, imports and exports of fishery-related products, and domestic supply and per capita consumption of fishery products.
This report discusses impacts of Hurricane/Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy on fishing and fishing-related businesses in New York and New Jersey one year after landfall. It describes major factors leading to different levels of impact on different sectors, and some reasons behind these different impact levels. Further examined are types of impediments to recovery, aids to recovery, and community impacts. It concludes with (1) two factors that can potentially improve response to, and lessen impacts of, future natural disasters, and (2) lessons learned by the researchers.
This document identifies seven key steps to increase production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to support the management of fish stocks, fisheries, and protected species. The steps focus on how a changing climate affects living marine resources, ecosystems, and the communities that depend on them, and how to respond to those changes. The strategy identifies key risks in the U.S. from climate change, including millions of U.S. jobs, ocean fisheries worth billions, protected marine species, habitats that provide valuable services, and the health and enjoyment of our oceans and coasts from recreation and tourism.
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.
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.
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.
This report provides a basic summary of the observed and projected changes to the ecosystems in Hawai'i and their resulting impacts for residents.
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.
This publication, known by the acronym SOFIA, is released every two years to provide policymakers and civil society with a global view of fisheries and aquaculture and associated policy issues. The 2014 report includes a special study of initial assessments of vulnerabilities to climate change in fisheries and aquaculture. The full archive is available online.
Climate change is making the Arctic a greener, warmer, and increasingly accessible place for economic opportunity. However, climate impacts such as sea ice loss and rising ocean acidification are straining coastal community resilience and sound resource stewardship. NOAA's Arctic Action Plan outlines ways for scientists and stakeholders to share their progress regarding this vast, valuable, and vulnerable region.
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.
The plan guides research and monitoring investments that will improve our understanding of ocean acidification, its potential impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and adaptation and mitigation strategies. Highlights of the plan's research goals include improving existing observing systems that monitor chemical and biological effects of ocean acidification; undertaking laboratory and field research to examine the physiological, behavioral, and evolutionary adaptive capacities of selected species; developing comprehensive models to predict changes in the ocean carbon cycle and effects on marine ecosystems and organisms; developing vulnerability assessments for various carbon dioxide emissions scenarios; and assessing the cultural, subsistence, and economic effects of ocean acidification.
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.
Prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage, this report is the result of a collaboration among numerous local, state, federal, and nongovernmental agencies to develop a comprehensive, state-of-the-art look at the effects of climate change on the oceans and marine ecosystems under U.S. jurisdiction.
The United States' 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) are experiencing negative effects of human and climate-related stressors, according to this report. This is the first national-scale climate sensitivity analysis of estuaries to help coastal managers protect the health of estuaries.
President Obama's Climate Action Plan includes a series of executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.
This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on potential abrupt changes to the ocean, atmosphere, ecosystems, and high-latitude areas, and identifies key research and monitoring needs. The report calls for action to develop an abrupt change early warning system to help anticipate future abrupt changes and reduce their impacts.