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.
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.
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.
The guidance provided by this report is designed to help all communities create disaster debris management plans. It assists communities in planning for natural disaster debris before disasters—such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, floods, wildfires, and winter storms—occur by providing useful, relevant information intended to increase community preparedness and resiliency. The report includes recommended components of a debris management plan, suggested management options for various natural disaster debris streams, a collection of case studies that highlights how several communities prepared for and managed debris generated by recent natural disasters, resources to consult in planning for natural disasters, and the EPA’s recommended pre-incident planning process to help prepare communities for effective disaster debris management.
The Beloved Community is a vision for our future where all people share equally in the wealth and bounty of the earth, where we protect its abundance, diversity, and beauty for future generations. In this vision of liberation, racism, exploitation, and domination are replaced by democracy, cooperation, interdependence, and love. To get there, we pursue transformative, systems-change solutions. What do we mean by this? The root causes of the problems our communities face—like climate change, racism, and economic inequality—are all deeply connected. Since the problems are connected, so are the solutions. The purpose of this toolkit is to put us on the path toward achieving this vision. Through the context of building equity and resilience into climate adaptation planning, we introduce strategies to transform our communities and, by extension, society. Our ultimate goal is to create lasting and systemic change. At the same time, we recognize the urgency of the issues our communities face and the need to take action now. That is why we pursue change at every scale—from policy changes to community-based projects—to institute the transformative change we need to uphold our vision of the beloved community.
According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, ecologically and economically valuable resources are being lost at an alarming rate due to climate change impacts. For conservation funders, these trends represent a growing threat to the natural systems where they have already made significant investments and, importantly, the durability of future conservation programs and outcomes as climate change accelerates. This report offers practical guidance to help funders prepare for changes that are imminent, intentionally consider climate change in their work, and thus work to ensure that conservation investments are more durable.
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.
Flooding is the natural hazard with the greatest economic and social impact in the United States, and these impacts are becoming more severe over time. This report contributes to existing knowledge on urban flooding by examining real-world examples in specific metropolitan areas: Baltimore, Houston, Chicago, and Phoenix. The report identifies commonalities and variances among the case study metropolitan areas in terms of causes, adverse impacts, unexpected problems in recovery, or effective mitigation strategies, as well as key themes of urban flooding. It also relates, as appropriate, causes and actions of urban flooding to existing federal resources or policies.
This guidebook was designed to support tribes’ efforts to proactively adapt to climate change and thrive for generations to come, building on the ongoing climate-related work in tribal communities. It provides a framework for climate change adaptation planning in the context of existing tribal priorities, and directly considers the unique issues facing indigenous communities. Specifically, the Guidebook directs readers to the foundation of existing resources and tribal adaptation efforts and identifies opportunities for braiding together traditional knowledges and western science in developing adaptation plans. The framework outlined in the guidebook will be useful for tribes in different phases of climate adaptation planning efforts, and supports learning from the experiences, approaches, and lessons of tribes working to become more resilient to climate change.
This report offers the first national assessment of the scope and consequences of urban flooding in the United States. Researchers analyzed available data concerning urban flooding, surveyed municipal flood and stormwater managers, and met with professionals whose disciplines intersect with urban flooding at the local, state, and national level. The research team's findings affirm that urban flooding is a national and significant source of economic loss, social disruption, and housing inequality. This report presents the full results of the study, addresses governance issues that affect urban flood risk reduction, examines critical challenges, and offers recommendations for actions.
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.
This special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change describes the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. The report also describes potential global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
This report considers the economic, environmental, and social factors that contribute to resilience, and how the concept of resilience translates to the private sector, municipal decision makers, and communities. It summarizes key themes posed by the Urban Land Institute's resilience work in the years since Hurricane Sandy, with a particular focus on ULI’s resilience-focused Advisory Services work. Ten Principles was developed through a ULI member workshop in summer 2017, which included 15 ULI member leaders who had served on resilience-focused Advisory Services Panels and other Urban Resilience program activities over the past four years. The members attending the workshop formulated the ten principles, which are illustrated in the report with on-the-ground examples from Advisory Services panels.
In 1950, fewer than one-third of the world's people lived in cities. Today more than half do. By 2050, urban areas will be home to some two-thirds of Earth's human population. This scale and pace of urbanization has never been seen in human history.
The report provides a foundation for new scientific collaborations on how cities function, how they grow, and how they can be managed sustainably for decades to come.
This report acknowledges that climate adaptation has begun to emerge as a field of practice, but states that the work is not evolving quickly or deliberately enough for communities to adequately prepare for the dangerous shocks and stresses that increasingly will be introduced by climate change. The report assesses the current state of the climate adaptation field, provides a vision of what a mature, effective field would look like, and recommends steps that should be taken to realize that vision.
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.
On March 13, 2017, the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement jointly convened a 1-day public workshop in Washington, DC, to explore potential strategies for public health, environmental health, health care, and related stakeholders to help communities and regions to address and mitigate the health effects of climate change. Participants discussed the perspectives of civic, government, business, and health-sector leaders, and existing research, best practices, and examples that inform stakeholders and practitioners on approaches to support mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and its effects on population health. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
This report describes a conceptual model of climate resilience, codified as an index. The Climate Resilience Screening Index (CRSI) is designed to be sensitive to changes in the natural environment, built environment, governance, and social structure and vulnerability or risk to climate events. CRSI has been used to develop an index score for climate resilience at the county level (scalable both upward and downward spatially). The index represents both the vulnerability of the entity to multiple climate events and the potential recoverability of these entities from climate events.
The approach uses five domainsand 20 indicators related to the domains. CRSI characterizes holistic climate resilience throughout the US at the county level (2000-2015); ascertains the relationships among those domains and indicators; and, provide information regarding how that resilience score is constructed and the actions a community/county can take to improve their climate resilience.
This report assesses county-level crop and cash rents estimates, and offers recommendations on methods for integrating data sources to provide more precise county-level estimates of acreage and yield for major crops and of cash rents by land use. The report considers technical issues involved in using the available data sources, such as methods for integrating the data, the assumptions underpinning the use of each source, the robustness of the resulting estimates, and the properties of desirable estimates of uncertainty.
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.
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 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.
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
This report makes a case for the One Water approach, highlighting successful strategies and real-world examples of One Water management in practice. The roadmap highlights approaches that water utilities, businesses, agricultural groups, and municipalities, are implementing to build a secure water future for all. The roadmap is organized around six arenas for action: Reliable and Resilient Utilities, Thriving Cities, Competitive Business and Industry, Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Social and Economic Inclusion, and Healthy Waterways.
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.
Urban populations are facing increasing challenges from numerous natural and man-made pressures, such as rapid urbanisation, climate change, terrorism, and increased risks from natural hazards. Cities must learn to adapt and thrive in the face of these diverse challenges—they must learn how to build resilience in an uncertain world. Armed with this knowledge and understanding, governments, donors, investors, policy makers, and the private sector will be able to develop effective strategies to foster more resilient cities. Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the City Resilience Index is being developed by Arup. It builds on extensive research undertaken by Arup to establish an accessible, evidence-based definition of urban resilience, which culminated in the publication of the City Resilience Framework (CRF) in April 2014. This provides a holistic articulation of city resilience, structured around four dimensions and 12 goals that are critical for the resilience of our cities. This structure also forms the foundations of the CRI.
This guide offers a collection of 19 practical strategies for building owners to make their properties more resilient against the effects of extreme weather events. It draws on advice from over 50 experts in the field of resilience as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the manual offers guidance on determining a property’s vulnerability to various hazards, finding which strategies are relevant to a particular building, and getting started with a resilience plan.
Three years after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York City, the housing stock in many urban coastal areas remains vulnerable to flooding. Much of the housing stock in these high-risk areas is out of compliance with federal flood-resistant design and construction standards.The report illustrates the significant design and financial hurdles of retrofitting multifamily housing common to many urban, coastal areas, describes existing policies and design approaches and their shortfalls, and provides recommendations for state and local practitioners to improve resilience of multi-family housing in their communities.
This document guides federal land managers in the effective and efficient use of available resources and engaging public and private partnerships in taking action for the conservation and management of pollinators and pollinator habitat on federal lands.
In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private and charitable sources are invested to help communities recover. National rhetoric often characterizes these efforts as a "return to normal." But for many American communities, pre-disaster conditions are far from optimal. Large segments of the U.S. population suffer from preventable health problems, experience inequitable access to services, and rely on overburdened health systems. A return to pre-event conditions in such cases may be short-sighted given the high costs - both economic and social - of poor health. Instead, it is important to understand that the disaster recovery process offers a series of unique and valuable opportunities to improve on the status quo. Capitalizing on these opportunities can advance the long-term health, resilience, and sustainability of communities - thereby better preparing them for future challenges.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that regional economic prosperity is linked to an area’s ability to prevent, withstand, and quickly recover from major disruptions (i.e., "shocks") to its economic base. Many definitions of economic resilience limit its focus on the ability to quickly recover from a disruption. However, in the context of economic development, economic resilience becomes inclusive of three primary attributes: the ability to recover quickly from a shock, the ability to withstand a shock, and the ability to avoid the shock altogether. Establishing economic resilience in a local or regional economy requires the ability to anticipate risk, evaluate how that risk can impact key economic assets, and build a responsive capacity. Building economic resilience is highlighted in this guide from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The guide is primarily intended to assist in efforts to develop the content of a CEDS document, suggesting how to develop the document’s format and substance to make the strongest, most useful, and most effective CEDS possible.
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.
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.
This document was written for those tasked with the development, maintenance, and implementation of a state disaster recovery plan, and is intended to serve as an evaluative guidebook from which users can draw from widely accepted steps derived from planning processes and informative best practices adopted in other states. The guide can be used to assess where a state plan stacks up relative to emerging federal planning standards.
In 2008, agricultural greenhouse gas sources accounted for about six percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This report, known as the USDA GHG Inventory, was developed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the contribution of U.S. agriculture and forestry to greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, providing an in-depth look at greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration at the state and regional scales.
This report—written primarily for the EPA and other federal agencies, organizations, and researchers with interests in public health; the environment; building design, construction, and operation; and climate issues—addresses the impacts that climate change may have on the indoor environment and resulting health effects, finding that steps taken to mitigate climate change may cause or exacerbate harmful indoor environmental conditions. The report discusses the role the EPA should take in informing the public, health professionals, and those in the building industry about potential risks and what can be done to address them. The study also recommends that building codes account for climate change projections; that federal agencies join to develop or refine protocols and testing standards for evaluating emissions from materials, furnishings, and appliances used in buildings; and that building weatherization efforts include consideration of health effects.