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 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.
The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing a Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience Plan as a practical guide to implement specific strategies in response to climate change threats (heat, flooding from precipitation, flooding from sea level rise and storm surge). The Alewife Preparedness Plan—the first neighborhood plan to be developed—will test how the proposed strategies might create a new framework for resiliency in Alewife. It comprises two parts: a Report and a Handbook. The Report provides the context, framework, and strategies to create a prepared and resilient Alewife neighborhood; the Handbook, a companion document, is a practical compendium of specific preparedness and resiliency strategies and best practices.
Delaware is especially vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise (SLR) due to its flat topography, low mean elevation, and significant community development and infrastructure investments along the coast. Rates of relative SLR measured at tide gauges in and around Delaware are approximately twice the rate of global mean SLR. This report provides critical information on future sea level rise for Delaware's decision makers: it can help readers gain a comprehensive understanding of risk and the likelihood of worsening coastal flooding. In addition to the report, the Delaware Geological Survey worked with others to release an updated series of coastal inundation maps that depict the extent of potential inundation from current average high tide (MHHW level) to seven feet above in one-foot increments. These maps can be used as a planning tool for understanding potential future effects of sea level rise or storm surge.
In the aftermath of Tropical Storms Irene and Sandy, the population centers of Greater New Haven and Bridgeport recognized significant exposure and vulnerability to their infrastructure, environment, and socioeconomic assets from extreme weather events and a changing climate. To counteract immediate and longer-term risks and broaden dialogue on community resilience building, the Southern Connecticut Regional Framework for Coastal Resilience project was launched. The overarching goal of this project was prioritizing actions and strengthening partnerships by providing proactive risk assessment, community engagement, conceptual design of on-the-ground projects, and this Final Report. The principal purpose of the project was to advance a Regional Resilience Framework—built on projects and partnerships—needed to help improve resilience for over 591,000 residents that represent over 30 percent of Connecticut’s coast. A core goal of this project was to strengthen the resilience of existing and future ecosystems, including a diverse suite of services and co-benefits, alongside existing and future development activities within a population center critical to the state of Connecticut’s future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The National Health Security Strategy of the United States calls on people and their communities to prepare for the threats to health that come with disasters and emergencies, to be ready to protect themselves, and to remain resilient in the face of such threats. The strategy defines resilience as “the sustained ability of communities to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity.” How can communities best incorporate resilience into their approaches and practices, especially in light of the potential consequences of climate change? This resource—prepared especially for community-based groups—provides information from the fields of psychology and other social sciences to help communities better understand and prepare for the adverse effects of climate change
Climate Ready Boston is an ongoing initiative to help the people and city of Boston to plan for the future impacts of climate change and develop resilient solutions. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh describes the challenge and the city's commitment in the report's introduction: "Climate change poses a greater threat to some Bostonians. The very young and very old, people who do not speak English, and those with low incomes or medical illnesses or disabilities are all at elevated risk. By ensuring that our solutions are built together with those communities and in response to their needs, climate action will help us build a more equitable city. Furthermore, because climate change knows no borders, we will work with neighboring municipalities to address the regional impacts we face together." The Climate Ready Boston website offers proposed solutions and information specific to a range of locales. It also offers a presentation and report on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Projections for Boston.
This report sets out the broad scope of cultural resources in relation to climate change and identifies major directions of action in cultural resources and climate change for the National Park Service (NPS). These directions in turn will help shape and support collaboration with cultural resource and climate change partners both nationally and internationally. The strategy connects cultural resources to the four areas of NPS climate change response identified in the agency's Climate Change Response Strategy released in 2010: science, adaptation, mitigation, and communication. Approaches and methods from other NPS guidance documents, tools and supporting information, and many park- and partner-based case studies are incorporated throughout.
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.
This report examines efforts to develop and implement climate-adaptation projects in 17 cities across the United States. It also presents interviews and insights from Thought Leaders in the field of climate adaptation.
The study analyzed efforts underway, motivations for action, and how communities went from planning to implementation. The report provides insights into the practice of climate change adaptation, including suggestions for supporting community-based champions who are working to reduce their communities’ vulnerability to climate change impacts.
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.
Climate change affects human health by making extreme heat more common, more severe, and last longer. That is expected to continue into the future. This handbook explains the connection between climate change and extreme heat events, and outlines actions citizens can take to protect their health during extreme heat. This resource builds on the 2006 Excessive Heat Events Guidebook from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and includes up-to-date climate information from recent climate assessment reports, such as the 2014 Third National Climate Assessment, the 2016 Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States, and EPA’s 2016 Climate Change Indicators in the United States.
This handbook summarizes the current state of National Park Service (NPS) climate adaptation and key approaches currently in practice or considered for climate change adaptation in coastal areas in order to guide adaptation planning in coastal parks. The chapters focus on policy, planning, cultural resources, natural resources, facility management, and communication/education. The handbook highlights processes, tools, and examples that are applicable to many types of NPS plans and decisions. One chapter includes a case study of Hurricane Sandy response and recovery strategies, including changes to infrastructure. Another chapter features practical coastal infrastructure information, including cost per unit length of constructed features (including seawalls, beach nourishment, and nature-based features). The level of detail varies by topic depending on the state of research and practice in that field.
This report provides educators and advisors information, perspective, and resources to help farmers in the Midwest and Northeast prepare for, cope with, and recover from the adverse impacts of a changing climate. Developed collaboratively by scientists, conservationists, and educators, the report translates the best available climate science into usable resources for making climate-informed decisions. Flexible and adaptive management are key to reduce risk, increase resilience to potential disruptions, and even take advantage of opportunities presented by climate change. The Adaptation Workbook provides a structured process to consider potential climate change impacts, management challenges and opportunities, and climate adaptation responses.
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 guide provides a step-by-step approach for incorporating climate change information into new or existing conservation plans in coastal environments. The guide’s six steps draw from existing strategic conservation planning frameworks, but focus on climate considerations and key resources specifically relevant to the coastal environment, including coastal watersheds.
This guide (NIST Special Publication 1190) outlines a practical six-step planning process to help communities establish affordable priorities and allocate resources to improve their resilience. With the guide, community leaders can incorporate resilience-driven, short- and long-term goals into their exising plans in order to preserve and enhance economic competitiveness.
In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Commission, and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, began an evaluation of the potential effects of sea-level rise on water table altitudes and depths to water on central and western Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Researchers found that the potential does exist for groundwater inundation in some areas, but the effects of sea-level rise on depths to water and infrastructure likely will not be substantial on a regional level.
This assessment strengthens and expands our understanding of climate-related health impacts by providing a more definitive description of climate-related health burdens in the United States. It builds on the 2014 National Climate Assessment and reviews and synthesizes key contributions to the published literature. The findings represent an improvement in scientific confidence in the link between climate change and a broad range of threats to public health, while recognizing populations of concern and identifying emerging issues. The overall findings underscore the significance of the growing risk climate change poses to human health in the United States.
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.
This fact sheet presents recent climate change investigations of the U.S. Geological Survey in New England using selected recent publications that highlight the broad spectrum of expertise and commitment to understanding the relations of climate change and water resources in the region.
Rapidly rising seas threaten to drown tidal marshes and diminish the benefits provided to people and wildlife by these valuable coastal ecosystems. Increasingly, government agencies and non-government organizations are harnessing the power of computer-based models of marsh ecosystems to inform management and policy strategies to sustain tidal marshes. This report covers the entire modeling lifecycle, from developing a modeling approach and working with data to communicating modeling results. While some of the information pertains specifically to the northeastern United States, the report is also intended as a useful resource for modeling of marsh migration in other regions. The report is available online, with a printer-friendly version also available for download.
On Earth Day 2015, Connecticut Governor Malloy issued Executive Order 46 creating the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, also known as the GC3. The Council is to examine the effectiveness of existing policies and regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and identify new strategies to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050. It will do so, in part, by developing interim state-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets for years between 2020 and 2050 and by identifying short- and long-term statewide strategies to achieve the necessary reductions.
The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 required the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions that would lead to a 10–20 percent reduction in emissions by 2020, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. This update to Massachusetts' 2010 Climate Action Plan includes recommendations on how to achieve this goal.
This report updates the information contained within Maryland's 2012 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) Plan. This document summarizes the state’s progress toward achieving the 2020 emissions reduction goal established by the GGRA and shows that Maryland is on target to not only meet, but to exceed, its emission reduction goal.
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.
Living shorelines provide an innovative approach to reducing damage and erosion while simultaneously enhancing coastal community resilience by providing additional social, economic, and ecological benefits. NOAA supports alternative approaches to hardened shorelines and seeks innovative ways to increase coastal resilience to erosion and storm threats while conserving habitats for living marine resources. Important components of this report include what to consider when selecting appropriate techniques (e.g., vegetation, edging, sills, vegetated breakwaters) to balance shoreline stabilization and coastal and marine resource conservation, and how to navigate NOAA’s potential regulatory (consultation and permitting) and programmatic roles in living shorelines project planning.
This report discusses impacts of Hurricane/Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy on fishing and fishing-related businesses in New York and New Jersey one year after landfall. It describes major factors leading to different levels of impact on different sectors, and some reasons behind these different impact levels. Further examined are types of impediments to recovery, aids to recovery, and community impacts. It concludes with (1) two factors that can potentially improve response to, and lessen impacts of, future natural disasters, and (2) lessons learned by the researchers.
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.
This report—the first phase of the Department of the Interior (DOI) assessment effort for Hurricane Sandy projects—was developed for DOI by a metrics expert group of physical and ecological scientists and socioeconomic experts who recommended performance metrics for measuring changes in resilience resulting from the DOI-sponsored projects. It identifies natural and artificial coastal features most affected by Hurricane Sandy along the Northeast coast—such as marshes, beaches, and estuaries—and recommended metrics that would indicate resilience change in those features.
The State of New Hampshire has initiated a coordinated effort to proactively prepare for the effects of climate change on the natural and human resources of New Hampshire. An important aspect of this effort is to develop a vulnerability assessment of hydrologic response to climate change. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, is developing tools to predict how projected changes in temperature and precipitation will affect change in the hydrology of watersheds in the State. This study is a test case to assemble the information and create the tools to assess the hydrologic vulnerabilities in four specific watersheds.
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.