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 State Climate Summaries provided here were initially produced to meet the demand for state-level climate information in the wake of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment. This 2022 version provides new information and extends the historical climate record to 2020 for each state. 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. Additional background information and links are given below.
Over the course of January to March 2021, Climate XChange and Fairmount-Indigo CDC Collaborative engaged in conversations with frontline community leaders across Massachusetts. These discussions sought to understand the challenges they see in their communities, comprehend their long-term vision for solutions, gather their priorities for how investments should be spent, and identify ways to make the benefits of investments accessible to all. The researchers talked with individuals from organizations working in communities of color and low-income communities, labor unions, women-led organizations, local colleges, and organizations representing communities affected by sea level rise. This report presents key recommendations that represent the qualities and values that every investment package moving forward should exhibit.
As sea levels rise along the Northeastern U.S., coastal forest ecosystems are being impacted. To better enable climate-smart decision-making, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeast Climate Hub engaged researchers at Rutgers University to conduct a synthesis of the current state of knowledge concerning how Northeastern U.S. coastal forests, specifically those in mid-Atlantic and southern New England states (VA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, and MA), are responding to impacts from climate change. Drawing upon the scientific literature, expert interviews, and a January 2020 convening of scientists and land managers at the U.S. National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, Maryland, this synthesis identifies key knowledge gaps as well as potential management approaches.
Thin-layer placement (TLP), an emergent adaptation strategy that mimics natural sediment deposition processes, is one of the only viable options to protect tidal marshes from sea level rise in their current footprint. To improve the success of thin-layer placement projects, a collaborative research team at Narragansett Bay and Elkhorn Slough led coordinated restoration experiments at eight National Estuarine Research Reserves on the U.S. East and West coasts to test TLP across diverse marsh plant communities, and produced guidance and recommendations for TLP use. This guidance document is intended to help restoration practitioners, property owners, coastal managers, and funders better understand this strategy for tidal marsh restoration and resilience in the face of sea level rise.
The Design Guidelines serve as a reference for residents, business owners, and developers to translate flood resiliency strategies into best practices. They include a resilience toolkit to address building form, building envelope, and site access; description and supporting information on technical and cost considerations, insurance factors, and sustainable design co-benefits; guidance on urban design, accessibility, and public realm matters related to changes in elevation between a site and surrounding infrastructure; measures to manage additional climate hazards; and case studies that apply resilience strategies from the toolkit to representative building types in the future flood zone. The Guidelines will also be used to administer a future Coastal Flood Resilience Zoning Overlay District.
This guide is designed to help transportation practitioners understand how and where nature-based and hybrid solutions can be used to improve the resilience of coastal roads and bridges. It summarizes the potential flood-reduction benefits and co-benefits of these strategies, then follows the steps in the project delivery process, providing guidance on considering nature-based solutions in the planning process, conducting site assessments, key engineering and ecological design considerations, permitting approaches, construction considerations, and monitoring and maintenance strategies. The guide also includes appendices with site characterization tools, decision support for selecting nature-based solutions, suggested performance metrics, and links to additional tools and resources.
This report identifies eight distinct strategies cities are using to pay for large-scale climate resilience projects, mostly to address sea level rise and flooding. The analysis is based on a close look at how eight U.S. cities in seven states have been organizing the funding needed to implement their ambitious climate resilience plans. Each of these cities has had to find its own way to public and private financial resources, because there is no system in place for solving the problem of how to pay for climate resilience. Examining these cities’ pathways revealed common strategies that, while only reflecting the leading edge of urban climate resilience financing practices, quite likely foreshadow what other cities already or may do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Find out how hometowns across the United States are building their resilience to climate change. Two women who studied climate change science and policy in graduate school took a three-month road trip to find out what climate change adaptation looks like in the United States. They visited more than 30 communities preparing for climate change and documented what they learned in blogs and through media reports. This report describes six big lessons from the ongoing adaptation work they saw across the country.
This report details the results of a two-year study to address coastal storm and flood risk to vulnerable populations, property, ecosystems, and infrastructure affected by Hurricane Sandy in the United States' North Atlantic region. The study was designed to help local communities better understand changing flood risks associated with climate change and to provide tools to help those communities better prepare for future flood risks. It builds on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and attempts to bring to bear the latest scientific information available for state, local, and tribal planners.
This report documents the effort to develop an understanding of possible impacts of climate change and potential future responses by the Towns of Acushnet and Fairhaven and the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts. It focuses specific attention on sea level rise, precipitation, and frequency or intensity of storms that may affect public infrastructure related to water quality and habitat protection.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of observed and predicted changes to Massachusetts’ climate and the anticipated impacts. It also describes potential adaptation strategies the state may take to prepare for climate change.
A collection of case studies and information about how coastal communities can plan for and adapt to climate change. These resources represent a national guide for how coastal communities can plan and adapt. Case study issues range from coastal managers addressing sea level rise in Rhode Island to coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures in Florida.
This report summarizes findings from a review of coastal hazards associated with sea level rise, hurricanes, nor'easters, and reduced sediment supply. The study also evaluates existing policies and potential knowledge gaps, and develops potential adaptation policies.