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.
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.
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 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.
Blacksburg's Climate Action Plan represents both a short- and long-term set of strategies to pursue to reach the community’s energy and climate action goals. The long-range goal, established by Town Council in 2007, is to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Blacksburg’s Climate Action Plan is divided into six chapters covering the major sectors of the community responsible for Blacksburg’s greenhouse gas emissions. Citizens' priority strategies are reflected in each of the sector chapters in three ways: a set of “Individual Actions” that citizens can choose to adopt in their own lives, shorter time-horizon “Let’s Get Started” strategies, and longer-term “Looking Ahead” strategies.
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.
This report documents recommendations made by the Virginia Climate Commission and describes how they were acted upon. Highlights include appointment of a Chief Resilience Officer and development of a protocol for sea level rise projections. The report also makes 113 recommendations to help Virginia adapt to the consequences of climate change, and to reduce Virginia’s contributions to the problem.
The New River Valley Livability Energy Report uses nine principles to describe a sustainable, affordable, and reliable regional energy plan for the New River Valley in Virginia. Each principle is accompanied by practical strategies communities can use to promote sustainability. The report could serve as a model for other regional energy plans.
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.
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.
Virginia's Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 16 establishing the Virginia Energy Council in 2014; the council was formed to provide advice on the development and implementation of the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan. This plan was developed to provide a comprehensive view of where Virginia has been and currently is in terms of its energy assets, and it charts a path forward for energy policy in the commonwealth.
The City of Norfolk is using an integrative process of planning, preparing, mitigating, and communicating to reduce the impacts of flooding. Working with international and regional experts and residents, Norfolk is creating planning models to predict future shoreline conditions. The models will predict how local rates of sea level rise affect the construction of public buildings, shipyards, naval facilities, homes, and other private development.
This report presents the common trends in how 12 local governments across the country developed and implemented stormwater policies to support green infrastructure. The local policies examined include interagency cooperation, enforcement and management issues, and integration with state and federal regulations. While a strong motivation for these policies and programs is innovation in stormwater management, many communities are moving past the era of single objective spending and investing in runoff reduction and stormwater management strategies that have multiple benefits. Green infrastructure approaches have a range of benefits for the social, environmental, and economic conditions of a community. Not only do these case studies include success stories for building a comprehensive green infrastructure program, but they also provide insight into the barriers and failures these communities experienced while trying to create a stormwater management system that includes more green infrastructure approaches.
This strategy provides initial guidance on actions Virginia’s conservation community can implement immediately to enhance the conservation of wildlife and habitats in the face of climate change, even as more comprehensive adaptation strategies are developed. Conservation strategies include specific actions for conserving species and habitats, developing new data and climate modeling resources, and implementing new outreach efforts related to climate change.
Historically, studies about climate hazards and social vulnerability have been conducted in separate silos. The Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) is the first study of its kind to examine both the potential impact of natural hazards and which populations are most likely to be negatively affected. This research, commissioned by Oxfam America, includes a series of layered maps that depict social and climate change-related hazard vulnerability. The maps assist in identifying hotspots in the U.S. Southeast, which are at significant risk in the face of four particular climate change-related hazards: drought, flooding, hurricane force winds, and sea level rise. The specific region of focus is the 13-state region of the US Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Roughly 80 percent of all U.S. counties that experience persistent poverty (defined as a county in which at least 20 percent of the population experiences poverty for three decades or more) lie in this region.
The Action Plan describes climate effects on the built environment, natural systems, and human health in Virginia and sets forth a comprehensive set of recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases.