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
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
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.

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Published
December 2016

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

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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.

Published
October 2015

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.

Published
April 2015

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.

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Published
December 2014

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.

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Published
May 2014

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.

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Published
September 2012

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.

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Published
June 2011

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.

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Published
June 2011

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.

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Published
August 2009

This report is the Second National Climate Assessment, summarizing the science and impacts of climate change on the United States. The report discusses climate-related impacts for various societal and environmental sectors and regions across the nation. It is an authoritative scientific report written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.