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
September 2017

Sea level rise was a major topic of the annual meeting of the National Academy of Engineering held on October 9–10, 2016, and the second day featured a forum on sea level rise adaptation. This summary of the forum, which also incorporates material from Robert J. Nicholls’ plenary presentation, outlines a rich and challenging set of problems for engineers, scientists, and those who work with them.

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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

Forest and grassland ecosystems provide a wide range of services, including wood products, recreation, wildlife habitat, and protection of water quality. These ecosystems are also extremely valuable for their ability to store carbon, with U.S. forests absorbing more than 600 million metric tons of carbon each year. This report describes the role of forests and grasslands in the carbon cycle and outlines considerations for managing for carbon as one of many environmental benefits provided by natural ecosystems. Land management activities can influence the ability of ecosystems to absorb and sequester carbon, as well as provide other ecosystem services, and this report explores considerations for land managers interested in increasing carbon benefits on the lands that they manage.

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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
May 2017

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.

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Published
February 2017

A private group, the Climate Leadership Council, describes "How a new climate strategy can strengthen our economy, reduce regulation, help working-class Americans, shrink government & promote national security." The group of conservative elder statesmen that authored the statement call it the first time leading Republicans have put forth a concrete, market-based climate solution. Their recommendations are built on four pillars: (1) a gradually increasing carbon tax, (2) carbon dividends for all Americans, (3) border carbon adjustments, and (4) significant regulatory rollback.

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Published
February 2017

This guide provides recommendations for effective education and communication practices when working with different types of audiences. While effective education has been traditionally defined as the acquisition of knowledge, Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Alliance programs maintain a broader definition of “effective” to include the acquisition and use of climate-change knowledge to inform decision making. The CCEP Alliance is supported by the National Science Foundation to advance exemplary climate change education through research and practice.

Published
January 2017

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.

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Published
December 2016

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.

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Published
November 2016

This report documents the efforts of seven partnerships to build resilience of natural resources in the United States. These partnerships demonstrate the benefits of using existing collaborative, landscape-scale conservation approaches to address climate change and other resource management challenges. Their goal is to build and maintain an ecologically connected network of terrestrial, coastal, and marine conservation areas that are likely to be resilient to climate change, demonstrating some ability to support a broad range of fish, wildlife, and plants under changing conditions.

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Published
November 2016

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.

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Published
October 2016

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.

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Published
October 2016

This report describes key accomplishments and highlights opportunities for federal agencies and stakeholders to work together on a shared climate resilience agenda. The report builds on lessons learned and outlines three major areas where opportunities exist for innovation, economic growth, and collaboration: through application of science-based data and tools, support for community resilience initiatives, and integration of climate resilience into federal agency missions, operations, and culture.

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Published
October 2016

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.

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Published
September 2016

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. 

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Published
September 2016

As climate changes and ocean temperatures rise, the abundance, distribution, and life cycles of fish in federally managed ocean fisheries may change too. Federal agencies managing ocean fisheries have limited information to determine exactly how climate change might harm specific fish populations, and may not always understand the potential effects. To better manage climate-related risks, the report recommends (1) the development of guidance on how to incorporate climate information into the fisheries management process, and (2) finalizing Regional Action Plans for implementing the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy that incorporate performance measures for tracking achievement of the Strategy’s Objectives. 

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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
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.

Cover: Guide for Considering Climate Change in Coastal Conservation
Published
August 2016

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.

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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
August 2016

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.

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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.

Government Accountability Office | Selected Governments Have Approached Adaptation through Laws and Long-Term Plans
Published
May 2016

The U.S. Government Accountability Office examined the approaches of five governments on enhancing resilience through climate change adaptation. This report focuses on fiscal exposure to climate-related risks and describes how selected governments have approached enhancing resilience to weather-related disasters through climate change adaptation and steps the U.S. government has taken to enhance resilience through climate change adaptation.

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Published
May 2016

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.

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Published
April 2016

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.

Cover of the Long-Term Drought Resilience Federal Action Plan
Published
March 2016

President Obama issued this Memorandum and Action Plan on building long-term drought resilience under his Climate Action Plan. The document elucidates the role of the National Drought Resilience Partnership, a team of federal agencies, in helping communities manage the impact of drought by linking information—such as forecasts and early warnings—with drought preparedness strategies in critical sectors like agriculture, municipal water systems, tourism, and transportation.

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Published
March 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency produced this publication with assistance from federal, state, local, and academic partners. It is designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others plan for and respond to excessive heat events. The guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas. Originally published in June 2006, its Appendix A—a list of federal resources—was updated in March 2016.

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Published
February 2016

Drought threatens our country’s natural resources, economy, and overall health. Increasingly, NOAA is charged with providing and improving information that helps stakeholders at all levels manage water resources in a more resilient and climate-smart manner. Working with input from farmers, ranchers, natural resource managers, and other drought-impacted industries and populations, NOAA research has worked to improve drought monitoring and prediction for better planning and mitigation of impacts.

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Published
February 2016

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. 

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Published
February 2016

Occupational exposure to heat can result in injuries, disease, reduced productivity, and death. To address this hazard, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health evaluated the scientific data on heat stress and hot environments and updated these criteria (last updated in 1986). This revision includes information about physiological changes that result from heat stress; evidence to redefine heat stroke and associated symptoms; and updated information on physiological monitoring and personal protective equipment and clothing that can be used to control heat stress.

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 the Climate.gov ENSO page
Published
January 2016

Climate.gov's El Niño-Southern Oscillation—or ENSO—page provides information on the current status of El Niño and La Niña, plus links to forecasts, maps, and videos from across NOAA that help explain the impacts of the ENSO on the U.S.

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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.

Cover of the Storm Damage Risk Reduction Guide for Low-Volume Roads
Published
October 2015

This guide provides a framework for the selection of appropriate storm damage risk reduction treatments for low-volume roads. There are important tasks and processes that are necessary to make informed treatment selections that this guide does not cover in detail, but should be included in comprehensive road management programs. These tasks include road condition inventories, hazard assessments, and strategic plans for treating high-hazard sites. Specific “stormproofing” measures discussed in this guide include timely road maintenance, many key road drainage measures, culvert diversion prevention, pulling back marginal fill slopes, use of biotechnical and vegetative slope stabilization and erosion control, gully prevention, bridge maintenance, and many other measures.

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