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.
The purpose of this report published by the Carolina Wetlands Association is to present an overview of the state of an important but shrinking resource – wetlands in North and South Carolina. The report will establish a baseline – as a basis for seeing future trends in wetlands in the Carolinas – by addressing the following questions.
- What are the functions and benefits of wetlands in the Carolinas?
- How many wetlands do we have, what are their types, and where are they?
- How have past and current land-use practices affected our wetlands?
- What other threats/stressors are there and how can we manage them?
- What is the current condition of our wetlands?
- How do we protect and manage this valuable resource through education, conservation, restoration, and other activities?
This report is current as of 2020 and will be updated as more is learned and potentially as wetlands are conserved and protected across the Carolinas in the coming years.
The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also reviews vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change.
The Sea Level Rise Technical Report provides the most up-to-date sea level rise projections available for all U.S. states and territories; decision-makers will look to it for information.
This multi-agency effort, representing the first update since 2017, offers projections out to the year 2150 and information to help communities assess potential changes in average tide heights and height-specific threshold frequencies as they strive to adapt to sea level rise.
The State Climate Summaries provided here were initially produced to meet the demand for state-level climate information in the wake of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment. This 2022 version provides new information and extends the historical climate record to 2020 for each state. 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. Additional background information and links are given below.
This report's subtitle is Managing the Uncertainty of Future Sea Level Change and Extreme Water Levels for Department of Defence Coastal Sites Worldwide.
From the Executive Summary: Global change, including climate change, poses unique challenges to the Department of Defense (DoD). In particular, coastal military sites, and their associated natural and built infrastructure, operations, and readiness capabilities, are vulnerable to the impacts of rising global sea level and local extreme water level (EWL) events. This report and its accompanying scenario database provide regionalized sea level and EWL scenarios for three future time horizons (2035, 2065, and 2100) for 1,774 DoD sites worldwide. The global nature of DoD’s presence required a broad and comprehensive approach that to this point has been lacking in similar efforts.
To plan for future sea level rise, Miami-Dade County relies on the 2019 Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for Southeast Florida developed by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. These projections are revised every five years to ensure they reflect the best available science. Based on these consensus projections, they expect sea levels to be approximately two feet higher 40 years from 2019 levels and continue rising beyond that.
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.
Each region of the United States experiences climate change and its impacts on health differently, due to the regions’ location-specific climate exposures and unique societal and demographic characteristics. This document describes the various health impacts climate change will have on different regions of the United States as outlined in the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), actions taken by the CDC Climate and Health Program’s health department partners to prepare for and respond to climate change in their communities, and relevant tools and resources.
Climate migration—the preemptive movement of people and property away from areas experiencing severe impacts—is one way to improve climate resilience. This report reviews federal support for climate migration, examining the use of climate migration as a resilience strategy, federal support for climate migration, key challenges to climate migration, and how the federal government can address them. A literature review and interviews with climate resilience experts was conducted, with 46 stakeholders selected and interviewed in four communities that have considered relocation: Newtok, Alaska; Santa Rosa, California; Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana; and Smith Island, Maryland.
Thin-layer placement (TLP), an emergent adaptation strategy that mimics natural sediment deposition processes, is one of the only viable options to protect tidal marshes from sea level rise in their current footprint. To improve the success of thin-layer placement projects, a collaborative research team at Narragansett Bay and Elkhorn Slough led coordinated restoration experiments at eight National Estuarine Research Reserves on the U.S. East and West coasts to test TLP across diverse marsh plant communities, and produced guidance and recommendations for TLP use. This guidance document is intended to help restoration practitioners, property owners, coastal managers, and funders better understand this strategy for tidal marsh restoration and resilience in the face of sea level rise.
This guide is designed to help transportation practitioners understand how and where nature-based and hybrid solutions can be used to improve the resilience of coastal roads and bridges. It summarizes the potential flood-reduction benefits and co-benefits of these strategies, then follows the steps in the project delivery process, providing guidance on considering nature-based solutions in the planning process, conducting site assessments, key engineering and ecological design considerations, permitting approaches, construction considerations, and monitoring and maintenance strategies. The guide also includes appendices with site characterization tools, decision support for selecting nature-based solutions, suggested performance metrics, and links to additional tools and resources.
This report identifies eight distinct strategies cities are using to pay for large-scale climate resilience projects, mostly to address sea level rise and flooding. The analysis is based on a close look at how eight U.S. cities in seven states have been organizing the funding needed to implement their ambitious climate resilience plans. Each of these cities has had to find its own way to public and private financial resources, because there is no system in place for solving the problem of how to pay for climate resilience. Examining these cities’ pathways revealed common strategies that, while only reflecting the leading edge of urban climate resilience financing practices, quite likely foreshadow what other cities already or may do.
Regional adaptation fora (RAFs) are regional climate change adaptation conferences associated with the National Adaptation Forum. There are six RAFs: the California Adaptation Forum, the Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference, the Great Lakes Adaptation Forum, Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference, the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact Summit, and the Southwest Adaptation Forum. This report presents analysis and information drawn from the 2018 RAFs to gain insight about the state of the field, assess opportunities for the field to leverage the RAFs to accelerate dissemination and uptake of promoting promising adaptation practices across regions, and determine how the American Society of Adaptation Professionals can best support the RAFs going forward. The top finding is that RAFs are moving the needle for adaptation professionals and the field. The report serves as a testament to the need for, and value of, regional adaptation fora and encourages increased investment in these events and greater coordination between them.
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.
The EWN Atlas is a collection of 56 projects illustrating a diverse portfolio of contexts, motivations, and successful outcomes, presented and considered from an Engineering With Nature® perspective to reveal the usefulness of nature-based approaches and the range of benefits that can be achieved. Engineering With Nature is an initiative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enabling more sustainable delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with water resources infrastructure. EWN intentionally aligns natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaborative processes.
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.
Shorelines with high boat wake and wave energy face especially rapid erosion and habitat loss. A new living shoreline design from researchers at the University of Florida and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve that uses gabion-breaks has proven successful in high-energy environments. The gabion-break design uses two lines of defense to reduce erosion along the marsh edge—porous wooden breakwalls placed in front of structures that will foster oyster growth. This manual for restoration practitioners describes a collaborative research project that tested gabion-breaks along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in northeast Florida. It discusses the project’s results and details the steps to use gabion-breaks, including planning, design, maintenance, monitoring, and costs.
This analysis examines what's at risk for U.S. coastal real estate from sea level rise. Millions of Americans living in coastal communities will face more frequent and disruptive high-tide flooding; as this flooding increases, it will reach a threshold where normal routines become impossible and coastal residents, communities, and businesses are forced to make difficult, often costly choices. For this analysis, that threshold is defined as flooding that occurs 26 times per year (on average, once every other week) or more, a level of disruption referred to as chronic inundation. The results identify the number of residential and commercial properties at risk of chronic inundation—and the total current property value, estimated population, and property tax base affected—for the entire coastline of the lower 48 states.
During late 2016, the National Integrated Drought Information System, the National Drought Mitigation Center, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, and other regional partners convened four stakeholder meetings in the Midwest Drought Early Warning System. Each of these meetings included a historical drought overview and climate outlook for the region, discussion of critical drought-related needs and challenges, exploration of available tools, local drought planning and management approaches, and strategy development to improve drought early warning and resiliency in the Midwest.
This assessment of seven priority hazards was undertaken by the Florida BRACE (Building Resilience Against Climate Effects) program. Existing climate scenarios project heat, drought, and sea level rise vulnerability to the year 2100 with a high, medium, and low range of outcomes for these three hazards. Hurricane winds, storm surge, flooding, and wildland fire are more difficult to project into the future due to a significantly smaller geographic impact; for these four hazards, probability indexes were used in conjunction with historical patterns to explain possible changes to Florida’s long-term weather. Social and medical vulnerability indices were also employed to quantify social and medical vulnerability to these priority hazards.
The Nags Head Comprehensive Plan is an official policy document adopted by the Town of Nags Head to strategically plan for and enhance the quality of life and physical character of the community. The plan, while not regulatory in nature, builds upon adopted plans and policies to provide a foundation for decision making, future regulations, and project development. Further, the plan was created utilizing community input to illustrate a vision for the future of Nags Head and define steps to secure that future.
From Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu's Introduction: As we marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015, we launched the world’s first comprehensive city resilience strategy, Resilient New Orleans, combining local expertise with global best practices to confront our most urgent threats, adapt our city to our changing natural environment, invest in equity, create flexible and reliable systems, and prepare for future shocks.
It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change. We must end our contribution to it. As the world committed to action in Paris in 2015, so too did we. I signed the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate & Energy, adding New Orleans to the team of more than 7,400 cities in 119 countries worldwide committed to taking climate action.
Green infrastructure can help to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of parks. This guide from EPA encourages partnerships between park agencies and stormwater agencies to promote the use of green infrastructure on park lands to improve park lands and access to parks, better manage stormwater, increase community resiliency to shifting weather patterns, and provide funding to implement and maintain park enhancements that benefit the community. Using a stepwise approach for building relationships with potential partners, the guide includes information on how to identify and engage partners, build relationships, involve the community, leverage funding opportunities, and identify green infrastructure opportunities. It includes recommendations on the types of projects that are most likely to attract positive attention and funding and that provide a wide range of benefits. Included case studies from across the country illustrate approaches presented in the guide.
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 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 Tampa Bay region is known as one of the most vulnerable in the world to wind damage, coastal flooding from storm surge, and rising sea levels. The City of St. Petersburg—with over 60 miles of coastal frontage—has already felt the impacts of storms. The adverse effects from these types of environmental events often impact low-income communities the hardest, as they have the most difficulty bouncing back from stresses and shocks. The City of St. Petersburg is committed to ensuring that investments in making the city resilient are equitable and create a range of opportunities that everyone can benefit from. The Urban Land Institute of Tampa Bay convened top experts in climate resilience from New Orleans, Miami, Boston, and the Tampa Bay region to provide technical assistance to the city on creating an equitable culture of resilience. A grant from the ULI Foundation and Kresge Foundation funded this effort.
This plan sets forth the 2017 federal policy platform of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, an association of 75 U.S. mayors along the Mississippi River. The document sets forth the mayors’ recommendation of federal programs to support and strengthen the built and natural infrastructure of the Mississippi River corridor, proposing specific funding levels and support of several federal programs. Suggestions for finance mechanisms to restore Mississippi River infrastructure are also included.
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.
This report is part of a series of six case studies that explore lessons that are being learned by climate collaboratives from around the United States that are bringing together local governments and other stakeholders at the regional level to both reduce carbon pollution (mitigation) and prepare for the impacts of climate change (adaptation). Each case study explores the history and development structure and decision-making methods, funding sources, roles, and initiatives of each of these climate collaboratives. A synthesis report also explores lessons that can be learned by comparing the efforts of each collaborative on climate policy in their regions. These case studies were supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation. In developing these case studies, the Georgetown Climate Center collaborated with the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA).
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 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.
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.
Climate change impacts ecosystems in many ways, from effects on species to phenology to wildfire dynamics. Assessing the potential vulnerability of ecosystems to future changes in climate is an important first step in prioritizing and planning for conservation. Although assessments of climate change vulnerability commonly are done for species, fewer have been done for ecosystems. To aid regional conservation planning efforts, this report assesses climate change vulnerability for ecosystems in the Southeastern United States and Caribbean.
Flooding and sea level rise are challenges the City of Charleston has taken seriously for centuries. However, this City that we love is experiencing the effects more frequently than ever. In the 1970s Charleston experienced an average of 2 days of tidal flooding per year and it is projected that the City could experience 180 days of tidal flooding in 2045. Identifying initiatives that will improve our ability to withstand these effects is timely. This
Sea Level Rise Strategy Plan is that comprehensive inventory of initiatives.
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.
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.