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
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
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
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

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 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
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
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
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.

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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.

Screen capture of EPA's Clean Power Plan website
Published
August 2015

Under the Clean Air Act and President Obama's Climate Action Plan, this plan would cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

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Published
July 2015

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.

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Published
June 2015

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.

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.

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Published
December 2014

Climate change adds uncertainty to already complex global water challenges. Though no standard method has been adopted yet by the World Bank, common practice uses downscaled precipitation and temperature projections from Global Climate Models (GCMs) as input to hydrologic models. While this has been useful in some applications, they often give too wide a dispersion of readings to provide useful guidance for site-specific water resources management and infrastructure planning and design. Rather than design for an uncertain situation selected a priori, the so-called “bottom-up” approaches explore the sensitivity of a chosen project to the effects of uncertainties caused by climate change. Supported by the Water Partnership Program, this book summarizes alternatives explored by a group of organizations that belong to the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), to provide practitioners with the tools to adapt to the realities of climate change by following a decision-making process that incorporates bottom-up thinking.

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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.

Cover of the IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report
Published
November 2014

This Synthesis Report summarizes the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This report distills, synthesizes, and integrates the key findings of the three IPCC Working Group contributions—The Physical Science Basis; Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability; and Mitigation of Climate Change—to the AR5 for the benefit of decision makers in government, the private sector, and the general public. The report also includes findings from two Special Reports released in 2011: Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation and Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. The Synthesis Report confirms that climate change caused by human activities is having impacts on ecosystems and human well-being across the U.S. and around the world.

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Published
October 2014

Virginia's Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 16 establishing the Virginia Energy Council in 2014; the council was formed to provide advice on the development and implementation of the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan. This plan was developed to provide a comprehensive view of where Virginia has been and currently is in terms of its energy assets, and it charts a path forward for energy policy in the commonwealth.

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.

Cover of the State of the Climate in 2013 report
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

The report highlights the state’s achievement of returning to 1990 emissions levels by 2010. Additionally, Connecticut is likely to meet its goal of acheiving emissions levels 10 percent below 1990 levels before 2020. The report also presents the state’s climate adaptation and resiliency work.

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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 IPCC Climate Change 2014 report
Published
April 2014

This Fifth Assessment Report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III is a comprehensive assessment by of all relevant options for mitigating climate change through limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as activities that remove them from the atmosphere.

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
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 Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan
Published
August 2013

This plan was developed to provide an effective and systematic means for the State of Colorado to reduce the impacts of water shortages over the short and long term.

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