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.
Climate Ready DC is the District’s strategy to make the city more resilient to future climate change. It is based on the best available climate science and was developed through consultation with leading experts within and outside of the District government.
This report documents that the average temperature in 2015 was over one degree higher than pre-industrial times and that the period 2011–2015 was the warmest five-year period on record, consistent with established warming trends. The report further documents that in 2015 another milestone was reached, with globally averaged CO2 levels of 400 parts per million (ppm). The year 2016 is on track to be even warmer and will be the first year in which CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory remains above 400 ppm all year, and for many generations to come.
The probability of extreme climate events since 2011, especially those involving extreme high temperatures, has been substantially increased by climate change, often by a factor of 10 or more. The single most significant event in humanitarian terms, with over 250,000 lives lost, was the 2011–2012 famine in the Horn of Africa, where drought was a major factor.
This report examines efforts to develop and implement climate-adaptation projects in 17 cities across the United States. It also presents interviews and insights from Thought Leaders in the field of climate adaptation.
The study analyzed efforts underway, motivations for action, and how communities went from planning to implementation. The report provides insights into the practice of climate change adaptation, including suggestions for supporting community-based champions who are working to reduce their communities’ vulnerability to climate change impacts.
This report documents the efforts of seven partnerships to build resilience of natural resources in the United States. These partnerships demonstrate the benefits of using existing collaborative, landscape-scale conservation approaches to address climate change and other resource management challenges. Their goal is to build and maintain an ecologically connected network of terrestrial, coastal, and marine conservation areas that are likely to be resilient to climate change, demonstrating some ability to support a broad range of fish, wildlife, and plants under changing conditions.
This report describes key accomplishments and highlights opportunities for federal agencies and stakeholders to work together on a shared climate resilience agenda. The report builds on lessons learned and outlines three major areas where opportunities exist for innovation, economic growth, and collaboration: through application of science-based data and tools, support for community resilience initiatives, and integration of climate resilience into federal agency missions, operations, and culture.
This report provides educators and advisors information, perspective, and resources to help farmers in the Midwest and Northeast prepare for, cope with, and recover from the adverse impacts of a changing climate. Developed collaboratively by scientists, conservationists, and educators, the report translates the best available climate science into usable resources for making climate-informed decisions. Flexible and adaptive management are key to reduce risk, increase resilience to potential disruptions, and even take advantage of opportunities presented by climate change. The Adaptation Workbook provides a structured process to consider potential climate change impacts, management challenges and opportunities, and climate adaptation responses.
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.
With insight from 26 campus and stakeholder advisors, the support of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Transportation Division, and input from regional food supply chain businesses throughout the region, this 68-page report details the process used to assess the Chicago region food system and findings through the three-year participatory research effort. It includes eleven sections with 17 figures to illustrate key concepts, along with extensive supporting materials. The report presents three innovations with proofs of concept that could be applied widely in the region and beyond to improve food distribution, both in rural and urban regions.
This handbook summarizes the current state of National Park Service (NPS) climate adaptation and key approaches currently in practice or considered for climate change adaptation in coastal areas in order to guide adaptation planning in coastal parks. The chapters focus on policy, planning, cultural resources, natural resources, facility management, and communication/education. The handbook highlights processes, tools, and examples that are applicable to many types of NPS plans and decisions. One chapter includes a case study of Hurricane Sandy response and recovery strategies, including changes to infrastructure. Another chapter features practical coastal infrastructure information, including cost per unit length of constructed features (including seawalls, beach nourishment, and nature-based features). The level of detail varies by topic depending on the state of research and practice in that field.
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.
As climate changes and ocean temperatures rise, the abundance, distribution, and life cycles of fish in federally managed ocean fisheries may change too. Federal agencies managing ocean fisheries have limited information to determine exactly how climate change might harm specific fish populations, and may not always understand the potential effects. To better manage climate-related risks, the report recommends (1) the development of guidance on how to incorporate climate information into the fisheries management process, and (2) finalizing Regional Action Plans for implementing the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy that incorporate performance measures for tracking achievement of the Strategy’s Objectives.
This annual report details the progress made in reducing costs and ramping up deployments of clean energy technologies. In particular, the report highlights the progress of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, solar technologies for both utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic (PV), electric vehicles, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The report also highlights emerging technologies that the Department of Energy believes have the potential to transform our energy sector over the next five to ten years. These include fuel-efficient technologies for heavy trucks, smart building controls, and vehicle lightweighting. Along with updates in these areas, the report also highlights the accomplishments and potential of fuel cells, industrial energy management, grid-scale batteries, and big area additive manufacturing.
This Web toolkit raises airport operator awareness about vulnerabilities caused by significant weather events. The toolkit helps airports develop more robust contingency and recovery plans, in addition to their airport emergency plans. The toolkit focuses on events that are “rare but plausible”; that is, events that may have happened in the distant past, or in adjacent geographic areas, but are not common event types at the airport itself, and therefore may not be in the forefront of the airport managers’ minds.
This two-part report is the result of workshops convened in 2015 and 2016. The Part 2 reports documents the second workshop, which brought federal and state coastal managers together with statutory authorities for review and permitting of marine aquaculture in federal waters off the coast of southern California with scientists and other stakeholders.
This two-part report is the result of workshops convened in 2015 and 2016. The Part 1 report documents participants' efforts to develop frames of reference and rationale for creation of an offshore finfish aquaculture industry in southern California.
The Alaska Regional Action Plan (ARAP) for the Southeastern Bering Sea 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 region over the next three to five years. NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center is responsible for marine resources in five large marine ecosystems—the southeastern Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, the northern Bering and Chukchi seas, and the Beaufort Sea. The first ARAP focuses on the southeastern Bering Sea because it supports large marine mammal and bird populations and some of the most profitable and sustainable commercial fisheries in the United States. Climate-related changes in ocean and coastal ecosystems are already impacting the fish, seabirds, and marine mammals as well as the people, businesses, and communities that depend on these living marine resources.
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.
This guide provides basic assistance to electric utilities and other stakeholders in assessing vulnerabilities to climate change and extreme weather and in identifying an appropriate portfolio of resilience solutions. The guide is also part of a broader DOE effort to inform preparedness, resilience planning, and response initiatives.
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.
The cold temperatures of Alaska have led to the storage of vast quantities of soil and vegetation carbon, yet high-latitude ecosystems are potentially more vulnerable to higher temperature changes than ecosystems in the temperate zone. In particular, these increases in temperature may expose the substantial stores of carbon in the region to loss from more wildfire and permafrost thaw, which could turn the ecosystems of Alaska into a net carbon source. The assessment of Alaska ecosystem carbon stocks and fluxes, as well as methane fluxes, as reported here was conducted to better understand the baseline and projected carbon distributions and potential responses to a rapidly changing environment.
This report features observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including U.S and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts, and wildfires. It documents rising temperatures, shifting patterns of snow and rainfall, and increasing numbers of extreme climate events, such as heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures. Many of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.
This document provides final guidance for federal agencies on how to consider the impacts of their actions on global climate change in their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, providing a framework for agencies to consider both the effects of a proposed action on climate change, as indicated by its estimated greenhouse gas emissions, and the effects of climate change on a proposed action. The memorandum applies to all types of proposed federal agency actions that are subject to NEPA analysis and guides agencies on how to address the greenhouse gas emissions from federal actions and the effects of climate change on their proposed actions within the existing NEPA regulatory framework.
This guide provides a step-by-step approach for incorporating climate change information into new or existing conservation plans in coastal environments. The guide’s six steps draw from existing strategic conservation planning frameworks, but focus on climate considerations and key resources specifically relevant to the coastal environment, including coastal watersheds.
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.
Communities and nations of the 21st century face a great challenge: to protect people from the harm caused by an increasingly volatile climate. The damaging impacts of climate change will grow as the climate changes and adaptation fails to keep pace, unless societies take steps to increase their resilience through aggressive action on both climate mitigation and adaptation.
This report focuses on adaptation, where choosing among possible actions is often not straightforward or intuitive, and highlights 15 principles for decision makers to use to prioritize investments in climate change adaptation.
An analysis of 45 years of U.S. Forest Service records from the western U.S. show that the number of large fires on Forest Service land is increasing dramatically. The area burned by these fires is also growing at an alarming rate.
This guide (NIST Special Publication 1190) outlines a practical six-step planning process to help communities establish affordable priorities and allocate resources to improve their resilience. With the guide, community leaders can incorporate resilience-driven, short- and long-term goals into their exising plans in order to preserve and enhance economic competitiveness.
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.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office examined the approaches of five governments on enhancing resilience through climate change adaptation. This report focuses on fiscal exposure to climate-related risks and describes how selected governments have approached enhancing resilience to weather-related disasters through climate change adaptation and steps the U.S. government has taken to enhance resilience through climate change adaptation.
A multi-agency team of researchers developed this Department of Defense report to provide regionalized sea level and extreme water level scenarios for the years 2035, 2065, and 2011 for 1,774 military sites worldwide. The information included in the report is meant to assist decision makers and others in making robust choices to manage their risk of future sea level and extreme water levels.
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.
The State of Maine is experiencing shifts in atmospheric and oceanographic conditions that put it at the precipice of abrupt climate change. This report—part of the Department of Homeland Security's Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP)—focuses on the local and regional consequences of climate disruptions and their impacts on critical infrastructure in the Casco Bay region, the most developed and populous region in Maine. The report identifies vulnerabilities that may potentially affect the region’s ability to maintain its critical infrastructure systems and recover from the impacts of climate change.
As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well understood. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased atmospheric moisture that may result in more frequent heavy rainfall and snowfall, and leads to evaporation that can exacerbate droughts.
Event attribution can answer questions about how much climate change influenced the probability or intensity of a specific type of weather event. As event attribution capabilities improve, they could help inform choices about assessing and managing risk, and in guiding climate adaptation strategies. This report examines the current state of science of extreme weather attribution, and identifies ways to move the science forward to improve attribution capabilities.
The Arctic is changing at a startling pace. Understanding the role of freshwater in these changes—both how Arctic freshwater systems are affected by climate change, and how changes to the Arctic freshwater system will affect other environmentally relevant processes—is critical to understanding how these changes will affect the lives of people living in the Arctic and beyond. This report is intended to inform the non-expert reader about these changes to the freshwater systems in the Arctic, and their implications.
The SECURE Water Report identifies climate change as a growing risk to Western water management and cites warmer temperatures, changes to precipitation, snowpack and the timing and quality of streamflow runoff across major river basins as threats to water sustainability. Water supply, quality and operations; hydropower; groundwater resources; flood control; recreation; and fish, wildlife and other ecological resources in the Western states remain at risk.
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.