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
February 2021

The world is transforming its energy system from one dominated by fossil fuel combustion to one with net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary anthropogenic greenhouse gas. This energy transition is critical to mitigating climate change, protecting human health, and revitalizing the U.S. economy. To help policymakers, businesses, communities, and the public better understand what a net-zero transition would mean for the United States, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine convened a committee of experts to investigate how the U.S. could best decarbonize its transportation, electricity, buildings, and industrial sectors.

This report, Accelerating Decarbonization of the United States Energy System, identifies key technological and socio-economic goals that must be achieved to put the United States on the path to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The report presents a policy blueprint outlining critical near-term actions for the first decade (2021-2030) of this 30-year effort, including ways to support communities that will be most impacted by the transition.

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Published
February 2021

Electric power is essential for the lives and livelihoods of all Americans, and the need for electricity that is safe, clean, affordable, and reliable will only grow in the decades to come. At the request of Congress and the Department of Energy, a committee of experts convened to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the U.S. grid and how it might evolve in response to advances in new energy technologies, changes in demand, and future innovation. This book presents an extensive set of policy and funding recommendations aimed at modernizing the U.S. electric system, addressing technology development, operations, grid architectures, and business practices, as well as ways to make the electricity system safe, secure, sustainable, equitable, and resilient.

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Published
September 2020

This report is a scientific assessment of historical climate trends and potential future climate change in North Carolina under increased greenhouse gas concentrations. The report includes an overview of the physical science of climate change, detailed information on observed and projected changes in temperature and precipitation averages and extremes, hurricanes and other storms, sea level, and other relevant climate metrics. Findings are presented for both the state as a whole and for each of three regions in the state: the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the Western Mountains. The report also includes chapters on sea level rise, trends involving interactions of multiple aspects of the climate system (including inland flooding, wildfire, forest ecosystem changes, urban heat island effects, and air pollution), and findings relevant to engineering design standards.

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Published
September 2020

This report presents recommendations for how state governments can develop climate-resilience financial systems that help local communities invest in protecting residents, businesses, public infrastructure, private property, and natural resources from climate-driven stresses and shocks. To help states consider and act on the recommendations, a State Climate Resilience Action Checklist (page 50) identifies the essential actions that states need to take to build a comprehensive approach to resilience, including a financial system. The report also offers an Inventory of Climate Resilience Actions.

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Published
November 2019

As the world strives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, it is crucial to track progress towards globally agreed climate goals. For a decade, the Emissions Gap Report has compared where greenhouse gas emissions are heading against where they need to be, and highlighted the best ways to close the gap. This report presents the latest data on the expected gap in 2030 for the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets of the Paris Agreement. It considers different scenarios, from no new climate policies since 2005 to full implementation of all national commitments under the Paris Agreement. For the first time, it looks at how large annual cuts would need to be from 2020 to 2030 to stay on track to meeting the Paris goals. The report looks at the potential of the energy transition—particularly in the power, transport, and buildings sectors—and efficiency in the use of materials such as iron steel and cement.

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Published
September 2019

This report and the accompanying community spotlights provide an overview of climate change science, reasons why action is needed, how science supports decision making and planning, ways to adapt to climate change and limit the severity of its effects, and how such efforts can help build resiliency. The report illustrates the ways in which science can help individuals, communities, businesses, and government agencies make informed decisions. By working together to identify solutions and bring about positive change, we can reduce the risks faced by current and future generations.

Published
May 2019

The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) is a federally recognized Indian Tribe that serves 20 villages and communities stretching over 43,000 square miles within the Alaska Panhandle. The Tlingit and Haida membership is among the largest, most isolated, and most geographically dispersed of Native or Tribal populations nationwide. The region encompasses a 525-mile strip of coastline and interior waterways, bordered by Canada on the north, south, and east, with the Gulf of Alaska on the west.

The Central Council recognizes that wild salmon, berries, clams, herring, halibut, yellow cedar and other species important for subsistence, cash and culture are at risk. In response, they have released a 53-page climate change adaptation plan. The document is a roadmap for prioritizing, monitoring, and responding to threats stemming from warming air and ocean temperatures, caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere.

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Published
April 2019

The Beloved Community is a vision for our future where all people share equally in the wealth and bounty of the earth, where we protect its abundance, diversity, and beauty for future generations. In this vision of liberation, racism, exploitation, and domination are replaced by democracy, cooperation, interdependence, and love. To get there, we pursue transformative, systems-change solutions. What do we mean by this? The root causes of the problems our communities face—like climate change, racism, and economic inequality—are all deeply connected. Since the problems are connected, so are the solutions. The purpose of this toolkit is to put us on the path toward achieving this vision. Through the context of building equity and resilience into climate adaptation planning, we introduce strategies to transform our communities and, by extension, society. Our ultimate goal is to create lasting and systemic change. At the same time, we recognize the urgency of the issues our communities face and the need to take action now. That is why we pursue change at every scale—from policy changes to community-based projects—to institute the transformative change we need to uphold our vision of the beloved community.

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Published
March 2019

Climate change is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes region. This report, from 18 leading scientists and experts from Midwest and Canadian universities and research institutions, draws on the array of existing research to assess how the shifting global climate impacts the unique Great Lakes region.

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Published
March 2019

The frequency and severity of disasters over the last few decades have presented unprecedented challenges for communities across the United States. This report summarizes the existing portfolio of relevant or related resilience measurement efforts and notes gaps and challenges associated with them. It describes how some communities build and measure resilience, and offers four key actions that communities could take to build and measure their resilience to address gaps identified in current community resilience measurement efforts. The report also provides recommendations to the Gulf Research Program to build and measure resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region.

Cover of Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II report
Published
November 2018

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years that “1) integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program…; 2) analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and 3) analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.” The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) fulfills that mandate in two volumes. This report, Volume II, draws on the foundational science described in Volume I, the Climate Science Special Report. Volume II focuses on the human welfare, societal, and environmental elements of climate change and variability for 10 regions and 18 national topics, with particular attention paid to observed and projected risks, impacts, consideration of risk reduction, and implications under different mitigation pathways. Where possible, NCA4 Volume II provides examples of actions underway in communities across the United States to reduce the risks associated with climate change, increase resilience, and improve livelihoods. This assessment was written to help inform decision makers, utility and natural resource managers, public health officials, emergency planners, and other stakeholders by providing a thorough examination of the effects of climate change on the United States.

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Published
October 2018

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.

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Published
May 2018

As incomes rise and populations grow, especially in the world’s hotter regions, the use of air conditioners is becoming increasingly common. In fact, the use of air conditioners and electric fans already accounts for about a fifth of the total electricity in buildings around the world–or 10 percent of all global electricity consumption. Over the next three decades, the use of ACs is set to soar, becoming one of the top drivers of global electricity demand. This new analysis by the International Energy Agency shows how new standards can help the world avoid facing such a “cold crunch” by helping improve efficiency while also staying cool.

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Published
January 2018

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.

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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
July 2017

This report 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.

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Published
June 2017

With support from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Region Nine Development Commission created this plan to assess South Central Minnesota’s vulnerability to climate change and create strategies for the region to adapt to climate change. Region Nine, working in tandem with a Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, identified eight top priority sectors to prioritize the planning process: agriculture, water, human health, energy, transportation, forests, ecosystems, business, and economy. The result of the planning process was real, actionable strategies that can be used as a guide to initiate discussions and begin a planning process in Region Nine communities.

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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. 

Climate Summaries Report Cover
Published
January 2017

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.

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Published
November 2016

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in collaboration with the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), has attempted to quantify the fiscal risks posed by climate change for the Federal Government. To date, this effort has yielded two primary conclusions: first, that our current understanding of the fiscal risks of climate change is nascent, limited in scope, and subject to significant uncertainty; and second, that the evidence available thus far indicates the fiscal risks to the Federal Government could be very significant over the course of this century without ambitious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and adapt our communities to a changing climate.

This report outlines the contours of fiscal risk through five program-specific assessments: crop insurance, health care, wildfire suppression, hurricane-related disaster relief, and Federal facility flood risk. These programs were assessed because they are directly influenced by climate change, they have strong links to the Federal Budget, and quantitative scientific and economic models regarding the likely magnitude of impacts were available. This report also considers potential impacts to Federal revenues. 

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Published
November 2016

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.

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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.

Published
November 2016

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.

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Published
September 2016

This guide provides basic assistance to electric utilities and other stakeholders in assessing vulnerabilities to climate change and extreme weather and in identifying an appropriate portfolio of resilience solutions. The guide is also part of a broader DOE effort to inform preparedness, resilience planning, and response initiatives.

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Published
September 2016

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.

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Published
September 2016

This annual report details the progress made in reducing costs and ramping up deployments of clean energy technologies. In particular, the report highlights the progress of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, solar technologies for both utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic (PV), electric vehicles, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The report also highlights emerging technologies that the Department of Energy believes have the potential to transform our energy sector over the next five to ten years. These include fuel-efficient technologies for heavy trucks, smart building controls, and vehicle lightweighting. Along with updates in these areas, the report also highlights the accomplishments and potential of fuel cells, industrial energy management, grid-scale batteries, and big area additive manufacturing. 

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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.

First page of the memorandum
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
July 2016

This report provides guidance for evaluating how sea level rise and storm surge hazards may impact the ability to provide electricity service, and for identifying and implementing solutions to enhance resilience. The document includes examples of various tools, methods, and information resources that can assist in resiliency planning. In addition, climate resilience challenges and opportunities for different types of generation, transmission, and distribution assets are identified. It also includes general methods on how to estimate the costs and benefits of resilience measures.

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Published
May 2016

A number of utilities across the country participating in the Department of Energy's Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience have completed climate change vulnerability assessments. They used a variety of approaches to examine vulnerabilities affecting different categories of utility assets and operations, and the climate stressors of concern varied by region and by utility. This report details current practices, lessons learned, and needs identified by partners in conducting these assessments. 

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Published
March 2016

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.

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.

Screen capture from San Diego's CAP
Published
December 2015

With the goal of creating a cleaner San Diego for future generations, the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the City and aims for all electricity used in the city to be from renewable sources by 2035. The Climate Action Plan is a package of policies that will benefit San Diego’s environment and economy. It will help create new jobs in the renewable energy industry, improve public health and air quality, conserve water, more efficiently use existing resources, increase clean energy production, improve quality of life, and save taxpayer money. The plan identifies steps the City of San Diego can take to achieve the 2035 targets, including creating a renewable energy program, implementing a zero waste plan, and changing policy to have a majority of the City’s fleet be electric vehicles. The Climate Action Plan helps achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets set forth by the State of California. The City’s first Climate Action Plan was approved in 2005 and a commitment to update the plan was included in the City’s 2008 General Plan update.

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Published
December 2015

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. 

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Published
October 2015

An interactive map provides access to one-page documents of climate and energy information customized for nine regions of the United States. Each document summarizes climate impacts for the region; provides a table of Quick Facts on energy supply and demand, electrical power, and critical infrastructure in the region; and enumerates examples of important energy sector vulnerabilities and climate resilience solutions.

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