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 special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change describes the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. The report also describes potential global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
The goal of this concerted effort is to help Thurston County (Washington) and the broader South Puget Sound region prepare for and adjust to climate change. The Thurston Regional Planning Council crafted this document with a $250,000 National Estuary Program grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and significant in-kind support from the community. Partners included representatives from tribes, municipalities, universities, nonprofits, businesses, and other entities within the project area: three geographically diverse watersheds (Nisqually, Deschutes, and Kennedy-Goldsborough) within Thurston County that drain into Puget Sound. The watersheds encompass beaches, rivers, lakes, wetlands, highlands, forests, farms, ranches, cities, towns, and tribal reservations. It is the Council's hope that other communities throughout the Puget Sound region, state, and nation will replicate this project’s science-based assessments, innovative public-engagement efforts (including development of a resilience game), collaborative planning processes, economic analyses, and comprehensive actions.
The Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades. Despite relatively cool summer temperatures, observations in 2017 continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a "new normal," characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover and the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost temperatures. Issued annually since 2006, the Arctic Report Card is a timely and peer-reviewed source for clear, reliable, and concise environmental information on the current state of different components of the Arctic environmental system relative to historical records. The report is intended for a wide audience, including scientists, teachers, students, decision makers, and the general public interested in the Arctic environment and science.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Blacksburg's Climate Action Plan represents both a short- and long-term set of strategies to pursue to reach the community’s energy and climate action goals. The long-range goal, established by Town Council in 2007, is to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Blacksburg’s Climate Action Plan is divided into six chapters covering the major sectors of the community responsible for Blacksburg’s greenhouse gas emissions. Citizens' priority strategies are reflected in each of the sector chapters in three ways: a set of “Individual Actions” that citizens can choose to adopt in their own lives, shorter time-horizon “Let’s Get Started” strategies, and longer-term “Looking Ahead” strategies.
This Web toolkit raises airport operator awareness about vulnerabilities caused by significant weather events. The toolkit helps airports develop more robust contingency and recovery plans, in addition to their airport emergency plans. The toolkit focuses on events that are “rare but plausible”; that is, events that may have happened in the distant past, or in adjacent geographic areas, but are not common event types at the airport itself, and therefore may not be in the forefront of the airport managers’ minds.
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 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.
President Obama issued this Memorandum and Action Plan on building long-term drought resilience under his Climate Action Plan. The document elucidates the role of the National Drought Resilience Partnership, a team of federal agencies, in helping communities manage the impact of drought by linking information—such as forecasts and early warnings—with drought preparedness strategies in critical sectors like agriculture, municipal water systems, tourism, and transportation.
The State of Maine is experiencing shifts in atmospheric and oceanographic conditions that put it at the precipice of abrupt climate change. This report—part of the Department of Homeland Security's Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP)—focuses on the local and regional consequences of climate disruptions and their impacts on critical infrastructure in the Casco Bay region, the most developed and populous region in Maine. The report identifies vulnerabilities that may potentially affect the region’s ability to maintain its critical infrastructure systems and recover from the impacts of climate change.
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.
This report documents recommendations made by the Virginia Climate Commission and describes how they were acted upon. Highlights include appointment of a Chief Resilience Officer and development of a protocol for sea level rise projections. The report also makes 113 recommendations to help Virginia adapt to the consequences of climate change, and to reduce Virginia’s contributions to the problem.
King County, Washington's Strategic Climate Action Plan sets forth strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts.
The 2015 World Economic Forum rated food crises, extreme weather, and failure of infrastructure as top global risks in 2015. Around the world, regions are contending with extreme weather, including drought, flooding, and changes in growing seasons. These extremes affect crops and pests, and may disrupt agriculture and its supply chains, especially in the second half of this century. This paper presents an example of how transportation of agricultural products in the Upper Mississippi River Valley region of the United States may be impacted by, and respond to, a changing climate.
This guide provides a framework for the selection of appropriate storm damage risk reduction treatments for low-volume roads. There are important tasks and processes that are necessary to make informed treatment selections that this guide does not cover in detail, but should be included in comprehensive road management programs. These tasks include road condition inventories, hazard assessments, and strategic plans for treating high-hazard sites. Specific “stormproofing” measures discussed in this guide include timely road maintenance, many key road drainage measures, culvert diversion prevention, pulling back marginal fill slopes, use of biotechnical and vegetative slope stabilization and erosion control, gully prevention, bridge maintenance, and many other measures.
The New River Valley Livability Energy Report uses nine principles to describe a sustainable, affordable, and reliable regional energy plan for the New River Valley in Virginia. Each principle is accompanied by practical strategies communities can use to promote sustainability. The report could serve as a model for other regional energy plans.
The two main objectives of this pilot project were to (1) assess the vulnerability of Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel System to sea level rise and extreme storm events, and (2) investigate and present adaptation options to reduce identified vulnerabilities.
Many climate-related hydrologic variables in New England have changed in the past century, and many are expected to change during the next century. It is important to understand and monitor these changes because they can affect human water supply, hydroelectric power generation, transportation infrastructure, and stream and riparian ecology. This report describes a framework for hydrologic monitoring in New England by means of a climate-response network.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This report presents the results of a Climate Resilience Pilot Project in which the Connecticut Department of Transportation conducted a systems-level vulnerability assessment of bridge and culvert structures six feet to 20 feet in length from inland flooding associated with extreme rainfall events. The vulnerability assessment of inland flooding was conducted because in recent years extreme precipitation events have been more frequent and intense, resulting in damage to infrastructure in several locations.
The Maine Department of Transportation study identified transportation assets that are vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise and storm surge in six coastal towns. The team developed depth-damage functions and adaptation design options at three of the sites, and evaluated the costs and benefits of the alternative design structures.
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.
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.
Intense rainstorms, floods, and heat waves will become more common in the Great Lakes region due to climate change in the coming decades. While ice-cover declines will lengthen the commercial navigation season on the lakes, warmer lake temperatures will increase risks from invasive species, and could threaten water quality. Material in this report is largely a synthesis of the information contained in the National Climate Assessment’s chapters on the Midwest (Chapter 18) and Northeast (Chapter 16). Donald Scavia, GLISA's co-director, was one of the convening authors of the NCA's Midwest regional chapter; GLISA also served as a hub for the compilation of technical inputs for the Midwest chapter.
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.