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
July 2019

Heatwaves are deadly and their impacts are on the rise globally due to climate change. People living in urban areas are amongst the hardest hit when a heatwave occurs because these are hotter than the surrounding countryside. It is crucial that cities incorporate heat-reduction tactics such as green spaces into their plans for growth or retrofit them in built areas; this emergency can only be avoided if city institutions, community groups, and planners contribute to reducing heat risk now and in the future. This guide is intended to help city staff take the first steps to understanding the heat risks they face, develop an early warning system, work with partners to consolidate heat action plans, and adapt urban planning practices.

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Published
July 2019

This analysis shows the rapid, widespread increases in extreme heat that are projected to occur across the country due to climate change, including conditions so extreme that a heat index cannot be measured. The analysis also finds that the intensity of the coming heat depends heavily on how quickly we act now to reduce heat-trapping emissions. For this national analysis, extreme heat is measured according to the heat index, the combination of temperature and humidity that creates the “feels like” temperature, and includes four different heat index thresholds, each of which brings increasingly dangerous health risks: above 90°F, above 100°F, above 105°F, and "off the charts." The report features three time frames—historical, midcentury, and late century—and three different scenarios of climate action. 

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Published
May 2018

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

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Published
January 2017

This report summarizes findings from a workshop held in El Paso, Texas, on July 13, 2016. The El Paso-Juárez-Las Cruces region is home to approximately 2.4 million people, most of whom are living in or near the urban centers of Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua), El Paso, and Las Cruces (New Mexico). These cities share characteristics, such as a high proportion of residents of Hispanic origin, median income below the U.S. national average, and a range of climate-related environmental issues that include drought, flooding, air pollution, dust storms, and frequent occurrences of extremely high temperatures during the late spring and early summer. With hotter temperatures and more frequent and persistent heat waves projected for the El Paso-Juárez-Las Cruces region, it is critical to develop more robust systems of institutions, social learning, and partnerships to understand risks and strengthen public health resilience.

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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 promotes a relatively simple solution to the problem of increasing heat and air pollution in cities: plant more trees. Trees cool the air by casting shade and releasing water vapor, and their leaves can filter out fine particulate matter (PM)—one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution, generated from burning biomass and fossil fuels. 

The report documents analysis that tree planting efforts could improve the health of millions of people, and that trees are as cost-effective as many other common solutions. The report also shows that most of the cooling and filtering effects created by trees are fairly localized, so densely populated cities—as well as those with higher overall pollution levels—tend to see the highest overall return on investment (ROI) from tree plantings.

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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.

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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.

Cover of the Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments report
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.

Cover of the Preparing California for Extreme Heat report
Published
October 2013

California’s Climate Action Team developed this document to provide California agencies with guidance for incorporating extreme heat projections and best practices for adapting to heat-related climate change impacts into planning and decision making.

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Published
April 2010

This report, by a federal working group led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, highlights 11 key categories of diseases and other health consequences that are occurring or will occur due to climate change. The report provides a starting point for coordination of federal research to better understand climate’s impact on human health. The recommendations of the working group include research to identify who will be most vulnerable, and what efforts will be most beneficial.