2013-2014 Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Pilot Projects, Federal Highway Administration (April 17, 2013). FHWA has awarded grants to 19 transportation agencies to assess the vulnerability of their transportation infrastructure to impacts of climate change and extreme weather. The grants will go to 14 state transportation agencies and five metropolitan planning organizations. The pilots represent the second round of funding provided by FHWA to help transportation agencies conduct vulnerability assessments. The pilots also are intended to provide input to FHWA to refine its Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework.
MAP-21 Emergency Relief Questions & Answers, Federal Highway Administration (March 27, 2013). FHWA has posted a series of questions and answers on implementation of the federal Emergency Relief program under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The program provides funds for emergency repairs and permanent repairs on Federal-aid highways and roads on federal lands that the Secretary of Transportation finds have suffered serious damage resulting from natural disasters or catastrophic failure from an external cause. FHWA also has posted a fact sheet on the Emergency Relief program.
National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, Fish and Wildlife Service (March 26, 2013). This plan is intended to provide a consistent, nationwide approach for state and federal agencies and others to address climate change impacts on fish, wildlife, and plants. The strategy calls for actions including identifying and conserving habitat, connecting wilderness areas to enable species to migrate as climate change alters their migration patterns, and incorporating climate change considerations into species and land management plans.
Webcast on Regional Climate Scenarios and Projections of Sea Level Rise, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Global Change Research Program (March 5, 2013). Materials are now available from a January 29, 2013, webcast hosted by EPA and the USGCRP on regional climate scenarios and global sea level rise scenarios developed as part of the 2013 National Climate Assessment. Webcast presentations covered topics including scenario planning for assessment and adaptation and regional outlooks for the northeast and southeast.
USDOT Issues Final Rule on Categorical Exclusions for Emergency Repair Projects, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration (Feb. 19, 2013). This joint FHWA-FTA final rule streamlines the environmental review process for roads, bridges, and transit facilities damaged by storms or other disasters. The rule revises the existing categorical exclusion (CE) for emergency repair projects to include projects described in Section 1315 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The rule also allows CEs for additional activities, such as strengthening damaged facilities against future disasters. The rule is effective Feb. 19, 2013.
Climate Adaptation Part of Federal Agencies’ 2012 Sustainability Plans, Council on Environmental Quality (Feb. 7, 2013). CEQ announced the release by federal agencies of their third annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans, which describe how they will meet environmental and energy goals set by 2009 Executive Order No. 13,514, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 2012 documents for the first time include plans for adapting to climate change. The Department of Transportation’s sustainability plan includes an appendix with its climate adaptation plan. The Environmental Protection Agency’s climate adaptation plan is available as a separate document. Comments on the agencies’ climate adaptation plans will be accepted for 60 days.
Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Geological Survey (Jan. 28, 2013). This report finds that U.S. coasts are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise, erosion, storms, and flooding, especially in the populated, low-lying areas along the Gulf of Mexico and the mid-Atlantic. The report is a technical input document requested by the federal advisory committee that is preparing the next National Climate Assessment. The report also finds that adaptation planning in coastal areas is increasing but is generally slow to be implemented. Adaptation can be improved through using more accurate and current scientific information and integrating adaptation plans into overall land use planning as well as ocean and coastal management plans, according to the report.
Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework, Federal Highway Administration (Jan. 18, 2013). FHWA has posted this final, updated framework for use by transportation agencies to assess vulnerability of transportation infrastructure to climate change and extreme weather events and adaptation options. The framework will be used to inform the second round of pilot projects for which FHWA has issued a solicitation for pilot projects in November 2012. The framework provides an overview of key steps in conducting vulnerability assessments and uses in-practice examples to demonstrate a variety of ways to gather and process information. Additional information is available on FHWA’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Pilots webpage.
National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency (Dec. 10, 2012). This document sets forth EPA’s long-term goals and actions to address the effects of climate change on water resources. The strategy focuses on actions protecting water infrastructure, coastal and ocean waters, watersheds and wetlands, and water quality.
Solicitation for Pilot Projects: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Options Analyses, Federal Highway Administration (Nov.15, 2012). This document describes FHWA’s solicitation of applicants for a second round of pilot projects to assess vulnerability of transportation infrastructure to climate change and extreme weather and to assess options for adaptation. FHWA is seeking pilot projects to conduct analysis in one of two areas: 1) assessments of transportation vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events, or 2) developing options for improving resiliency of transportation facilities or systems to climate changes and/or extreme weather events. FHWA also has completed in draft form an updated framework for use by the pilot projects in assessing vulnerability and adaptation options. The draft framework, which is not yet posted online, may be obtained by contacting Becky Lupes at FHWA, Rebecca.Lupes@dot.gov. Additional information is available on FHWA's Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Pilots webpage.
Workshop on Climate Change and America's Infrastructure: Engineering, Social, and Policy Challenges, National Academy of Engineering (Jan. 28-30, 2013). This workshop is a part of the Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society Project, a joint effort of the NAE and several educational institutions to advance the knowledge of the effects of climate changes on engineered systems. The workshop will explore specific cases of engineered systems impacted by climate change, discuss policy implications, consider educational interventions in post-secondary and informal settings, and examine societal and ethical considerations in preparing America's infrastructure for the impacts of climate change.
Gulf Coast Study, Phase 2, Task 2, Federal Highway Administration (Nov. 8, 2012). FHWA has issued several new reports produced under the second task of the Phase 2 study of climate change impacts in the Central Gulf Coast region. Phase I of the Gulf Coast Study, completed in 2008, examined climate change impacts on transportation infrastructure at a regional scale. Phase 2, scheduled to be completed in 2013, is focusing on the Mobile, Alabama region, with the goal of enhancing regional decisionmakers’ ability to understand potential impacts on critical infrastructure and to evaluate adaptation options. Under Phase 2, the recently completed Task 2 includes projections of temperature, precipitation, sea level rise and storm impacts, and information on the sensitivity of roads, bridges, and port facilities, to extreme weather. The three new Task 2 reports are Temperature and Precipitation Projections for the Mobile Bay Region; Climate Variability and Change in Mobile, Alabama; and Assessing the Sensitivity of Transportation Assets to Climate Change in Mobile, Alabama.
FHWA Memo Clarifies Funding Eligibility for Climate Adaptation Activities, Federal Highway Adminsitration (Sept. 24, 2012). This memorandum clarifies when transportation agencies may use federal aid highway funding to help adapt transportation infrastructure to extreme weather and a changing climate. The memo does not provide new funding eligibility, but clarifies that existing federal highway funds can be used for adaptation-related activities including planning, preventive maintenance, infrastructure preservation, and construction of highways in a way that would address present and future environmental conditions.
FEHRL US Scanning Tour 2012: Climate Adaptation for Roads, Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) (Aug. 8, 2012). This report summarizes key findings of a U.S. scanning tour on highways and climate change conducted in March 2012 by members of FEHRL, including delegates from nine countries. The tour included a visit to FHWA’s Turner-Fairbanks Highway Research Center in Washington, D.C., and visits to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center. The report presents findings on climate projections, vulnerability studies, adaptation measures, policy, research efforts, and opportunities for collaboration.
NOAA Develops Online Tool to Visualize Sea Level Rise Impacts, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (July 25, 2012). The NOAA Coastal Services Center’s Digital Coast website features an online mapping tool that allows users to observe the effects of sea level rise on U.S. coastal areas. The tool displays potential future sea levels; provides simulations of sea-level rise at local landmarks; and includes models of potential marsh migration due to sea level rise. The tool also provides overlays of socio-economic data on sea level rise and examines the increased frequency of tidal flooding accompanying sea level rise. The tool currently features all coastal counties along Florida’s Gulf Coast and in Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, with additional coastal counties to be added in the future.
Key Findings for Transit Agencies from FHWA Climate Vulnerability Pilots, Federal Transit Administration (June 2012). This memo presents key findings relevant to public transit agencies from an FHWA pilot project that funded several state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations to test a conceptual model for conducting climate change vulnerability and risk assessments for transportation infrastructure. The memo also includes key findings to date related to transit from the ongoing U.S. DOT Gulf Coast Study Phase II.
The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments, Federal Highway Administration (January 2011). This memorandum focuses on the use of climate information when performing a vulnerability assessment, as discussed at FHWA’s May 2011 Newark Pilot Peer Exchange Workshop. The memorandum describes several sources of precipitation and temperature information and provides recommendations on how that information can be used by transportation planners as they consider their climate-related risks. The memorandum also includes an appendix describing some of the methods employed by FHWA pilot projects to estimate the impacts of sea-level rise.
Pilot Projects Test FHWA Climate Vulnerability Conceptual Model, Federal Highway Administration (Feb. 3, 2012). FHWA has posted details on five pilot projects conducted by transportation agencies to test its draft vulnerability and risk assessment conceptual model for transportation infrastructure. The model is intended to serve as a framework to help transportation agencies assess the risk to infrastructure of projected climate change impacts. The pilot projects, completed in November 2011, included three state department of transportation and two metropolitan planning organizations. FHWA intends to use feedback from the pilot projects to finalize the model for national application.
Climate Ready Estuaries 2011 Progress Report, Environmental Protection Agency (Jan. 18, 2012). EPA has released its third annual progress report on the Climate Ready Estuaries program, launched in 2008 in partnership with the National Estuaries Programs to assist coastal communities with climate change adaptation planning. Highlights of the 2011 progress report include sponsorship of new climate adaptation projects, release of a primer on rolling easements, and new public education campaigns on coastal adaptation.
FTA Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, Federal Transit Administration. This webpage features resources on FTA’s climate adaptation efforts, including agency reports, pilot projects, FTA and DOT policies on climate change, materials from recent workshops and webinars, links to U.S. DOT climate adaptation efforts, and related FTA links.
FTA Announces Grants to Assess Transit Vulnerability to Climate Change, Federal Transit Administration (Dec. 22, 2011). The Federal Transit Administration has announced more than $1 million in funding to be divided among seven recipients to conduct transit climate change adaptation assessments as part of a pilot program. The grant recipients will assess the vulnerability of transit systems to the impacts of climate change and develop initial adaptation strategies to address needed improvements. They will have 15 months to complete their projects, at which time they will report to FTA on the results.
Federal Efforts to Provide Climate Data, Services Addressed by GAO, U.S. Government Accountability Office (Nov. 16, 2011) This testimony by David Trimble, Director of GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team before a Senate subcommittee, discusses federal efforts to provide climate data and services to decisionmakers to inform climate adaptation efforts. The testimony addresses data challenges facing federal, state, and local officials; actions that federal agencies could take to address those challenges; and federal climate change strategic planning efforts.
Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation - Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, Council on Environmental Quality (Oct. 28, 2011). This report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force describes the federal government's progress in expanding and strengthening U.S. capacity to better understand, prepare for, and respond to extreme events and other climate change impacts. The report provides an update on actions in five key areas of federal adaptation: building resilience in local communities, safeguarding critical natural resources such as freshwater, providing accessible climate information and tools to help decisionmakers manage climate risks, integrating adaptation into federal government planning and activities, and strengthening efforts to lead and support international activities.
National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate, Council on Environmental Quality (Oct. 28, 2011). This action plan produced by the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force identifies steps that federal agencies can take to improve the management of freshwater resources in the face of climate change. The action plan makes several priority recommendations, including establishing a planning process, improving water resources and climate change information for decisionmaking, and strengthening the assessment of the vulnerabilities of water resources to climate change. Other recommendations include expanding water use efficiency, supporting integrated water resources management, and supporting training and outreach to build response capabilities.
An Assessment of Decision-Making Processes: Evaluation of Where Land Protection Planning Can Incorporate Climate Change Information, Environmental Protection Agency, Global Change Research Program (September 2011). This report includes a review of the decisionmaking processes of selected land protection programs to assess the feasibility of incorporating climate change impacts into the evaluation of such programs. The study assessed 19 representative programs that seek to protect wildlife and watersheds, finding several strategies that might be useful for incorporating climate change into decisionmaking. These strategies include new decision support tools for advisory committees, different land protection models, and educational outreach for elected officials.
Report Provides Process for Assessing Critical Infrastructure as Part of Gulf Coast Phase II Study, Federal Highway Administration (Sept. 1, 2011). This report describes a process that can be used to determine a region’s most critical transportation infrastructure for protection from impacts of climate change. The process was developed under USDOT’s Gulf Coast Phase II study on climate change impacts in the Gulf Coast region. The research involved an evaluation of criticality for each transportation mode in the Mobile, Alabama study area, with each mode being assessed against a series of criteria in three categories: socioeconomic, operational, and health and safety. According to the report, the process “provides a framework for an objective ‘desk review’ that could be used to narrow the universe of transportation assets in [an] area for the purpose of focusing further vulnerability assessments on the assets of greatest importance.”
Flooded Bus Barnes and Buckled Rails: Public Transportation and Climate Change Adaptation, Federal Transit Administration (August 2011). This report provides an overview of anticipated climate impacts on U.S. transit systems and climate change adaptation efforts by transit agencies in the United States and abroad. Topics include availability of vulnerability assessment, risk management, and adaptation planning tools and their applicability to public transportation agencies. The report provides examples of adaptation strategies and discusses how transit agencies might incorporate climate change adaptation into their organizational structures, asset management systems, planning, and emergency response.
Global Change and Extreme Hydrology: Testing Conventional Wisdom, National Academies (Aug. 2011). This report of the National Research Council summarizes the proceedings of a January 2010 workshop of atmospheric scientists, hydrologists, water managers, and policymakers that examined whether floods and droughts are becoming more prominent in the United States, how they are changing at the regional scale, and the global climate's effect on the changes. This report provides an overview of the current scientific understanding of climate change and extreme hydrologic events. The report also describes the changes in frequency and severity of extremes, whether it’s possible to model these changes, and the problem of communicating the best science to water resources practitioners in useful forums.
CEQ Releases Draft Action Plan for Federal Agencies to Address Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Resources (June 2, 2011). The Council on Environmental Quality has released for public comment a draft action plan for federal agencies to help assure adequate water supplies, safeguard water quality, and protect public health and property in the face of climate change impacts. The draft National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate includes six recommended actions for federal agencies: establish a planning process; improve water resources and climate data; strengthen assessment of vulnerability; improve water use efficiency; support integrated water resources management; and educate water resources managers and build capacity.
EPA Issues Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Protection Agency (June 2, 2011). EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has signed a policy statement calling for the development and implementation of an EPA climate change adaptation plan. The directive also supports a recommendation of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force in October 2010 that called for climate change adaptation plans to be developed for every federal agency, and includes specific requirements to ensure effective adaptation planning and implementation.
National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy Under Development, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (May 2011). FWS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the New York Division of Fish, Wildlife, & Marine Resources are currently in the process of developing a national climate adaptation strategy for fish, wildlife, and plants, as directed by Congress in 2009. The strategy is intended to serve as a blueprint for government-wide action that outlines needed scientific support, policy and legal frameworks, best management practices, processes for integration and communication, and a framework for stepping down and implementing these approaches. The draft strategy is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011, with the final strategy being completed in May 2012.
Weather and Climate Impacts on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (April 2011). This report includes an analysis of how current climate conditions affect the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles on U.S. highways. The report also considers the potential impacts of climate change on the safety and operating environments for commercial motor vehicles.
National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee Meets to Plan Next Report, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (April 4, 2011). The National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee met for the first time to discuss plans for the next National Climate Assessment report that will synthesize the latest scientific research on current and projected climate change impacts on the United States. The committee advises the U.S. Global Change Research Program on the development of the report, which is required at least every four years and was last completed in 2009. The assessment will focus on regional and national level impacts of climate change to various sectors, including transportation. For additional information, link to the National Climate Assessment website.
Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (March 2011). FWS has updated its Sea-Level Affecting Marshes Model online portal (SLAMM-View 2.0), which allows users to view simulations used for predicting and planning for adverse impacts of sea-level rise on coastal wetlands and shorelines. SLAMM-View uses data from the National Wetlands Inventory to identify wetlands that may be impacted by sea-level rise. The online application allows for simultaneous comparison between both current and future conditions out to the year 2100, and among different sea-level rise scenarios, using interactive maps and tabular reporting capabilities.
Instructions for Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Planning, Council on Environmental Quality (March 4, 2011). CEQ has issued guidance directing federal agencies to develop climate change adaptation plans. The CEQ guidance provides instructions on integrating climate change adaptation into agency planning, operations, policies, and practices, as required by Executive Order 13514, “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.” A companion supporting document is also available.
Newsletter Highlights FHWA’s Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives, Federal Highway Administration (Feb. 2, 2011). The February 2011 edition of FHWA’s Successes in Stewardship newsletter provides an overview of the agency’s programs and initiatives on adapting transportation infrastructure to climate change risks. The initiatives include a report projecting regional climate change impacts; an update on the Gulf Coast 2 Study; and development of a draft conceptual model intended to guide state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations in evaluating the vulnerability of their existing and planned transportation infrastructure to climate change impacts. The agency has selected five state and regional transportation agencies to pilot and provide feedback on the draft conceptual model through September 2011.
EPA Webcast Series on Climate Change Adaptation for State and Local Governments, Environmental Protection Agency (Jan. 27, 2011). EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program has posted to its website presentations, recordings, and other resources from three webcasts on climate change adaptation for state and local governments held in November 2010, December 2010, and January 2011. The webcasts covered the following topics: Climate Impacts and Risk Communication; Adaptation Planning and Implementation; and Federal Resources and Support for Climate Change Adaptation.
FHWA Selects Five Pilot Projects to Test Climate Change Risk Assessment Model -- Three state departments of transportation and two metropolitan planning organizations have been selected to test the Federal Highway Administration's draft vulnerability and risk assessment conceptual model for transportation infrastructure. State transportation agencies in New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington State, as well as MPOs in San Francisco and Oahu have been selected as pilot projects to test the draft model announced last June. FHWA's conceptual model calls for a three-step process, advising agencies to inventory transportation assets, gather existing climate information, and then assess the risk to assets and the transportation system as a whole from projected climate change. More information is available on the FHWA website, including: the solicitation for pilot proposals; a synthesis of national and international approaches for conducting such assessments; a review and synthesis of current and ongoing climate science and what can reasonably be assumed by transportation practitioners with regard to GCC effects; and the conceptual model.
Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force: Recommended Actions in Support of a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, White House Council on Environmental Quality (Oct. 14, 2010). This report offers recommendations to the president on how federal agency policies and programs can better prepare the United States to respond to the impacts of climate change. The recommendations including making adaptation a standard part of federal agency planning and ensuring that scientific information about the impacts of climate change is easily accessible. The report also identifies guiding principles on adaptation strategies for public and private decisionmakers, including adopting integrated approaches; prioritizing the most vulnerable people, places, and infrastructure; and using the best-available science.
Regional Climate Change Effects: Useful Information for Transportation Agencies, Federal Highway Administration (May 25, 2010). This report provides regional projections of climate change impacts for use by state and local transportation agencies. The report is intended to provide the transportation community with "digestible, transparent, regional information on projected climate change effects that are most relevant to the U.S. highway system."
The Potential Impact of Global Sea Level Rise on Transportation Infrastructure, U.S. DOT Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting (2008). This study uses multiple data sources to identify the potential impact of sea level rise on land and transportation infrastructure along the Atlantic coast, from Florida to New York. The study (1) creates maps of land and transportation infrastructure that, without protection, could be inundated regularly by the ocean or be at risk of periodic inundation due to storm surge under a range of sea level rise scenarios; and, (2) provides statistics to demonstrate the potential extent of land areas and transportation infrastructure affected. (direct link to .PDF 191 MB)
Adaptation of the Transportation System to the Impacts of Climate Change, Results of a Peer Exchange, Federal Highway Administration (December 2008). This presentation examines the results and themes from four FHWA peer group workshops held during 2008 on climate change and transportation with participants from MPOs and DOTs across the country.
Integrating Climate Change into the Transportation Planning Process, Federal Highway Administration (July 2008). The objective of this study is to advance the practice and application of transportation planning among state, regional, and local transportation planning agencies to successfully meet growing concerns about the relationship between transportation and climate change. This report explores the possibilities for integrating climate change considerations into long range transportation planning at state DOTs and MPOs.
Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region (January 2009). This report discusses the impacts of sea-level rise on the physical characteristics of the mid-Atlantic coast, on coastal communities, and the habitats that depend on them. It examines multiple opportunities for governments and coastal communities to plan for and adapt to rising sea levels. The report finds that coastal wetlands in the mid-Atlantic region are already seeing effects of sea level rise, and if sea level rises by 50 cm in the next century, most of the wetlands on the Chesapeake Bay eastern shore would be converted to open water. EPA led the report with significant participation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. DOT was a contributing agency.
Special Report 290: The Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation (March 2008). This report explores the consequences of climate change for U.S. transportation infrastructure and operations. It provides an overview of the scientific consensus on the current and future climate changes of particular relevance to U.S. transportation, including the limits of present scientific understanding as to their precise timing, magnitude, and geographic location; identifies potential impacts on U.S. transportation and adaptation options; and offers recommendations for both research and actions that can be taken to prepare for climate change. The report also summarizes previous work on strategies for reducing transportation-related emissions of carbon dioxide—the primary greenhouse gas—that contribute to climate change.
Special Report 299 : A Transportation Research Program for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change and Conserving Energy (October 2009). The objective of this project was to develop research program proposals that would address major questions and technical issues regarding transportation strategies to mitigate energy consumption and GHG emissions, release or supplement fuel taxes with an alternative user fee system, and adapt to expected climate changes.
Interim Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force (March 2010). On March 16, 2010, the Task Force released an Interim Progress Report which outlines the Task Force's progress to date and recommends key components to include in a national strategy on climate change adaptation. These six components include: integration of science into adaptation decisions and policy; communications and capacity-building; coordination and collaboration; prioritization; a flexible framework for agencies; and evaluation.
Climate Change Impacts in the United States, U.S. Global Change Research Program (2009). This report summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It is largely based on results of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and integrates those results with related research from around the world. This report discusses climate-related impacts for various societal and environmental sectors and regions across the nation. (2009)
Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources, U.S. Global Change Research Program (June 2008). This report focuses on federally managed lands and waters to provide a "Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources" with the goal of understanding the sensitivity and adaptability of different natural and managed ecosystems and human systems to climate and related global changes.
Impacts of Climate Change and variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study, Phase I, U.S. Climate Change Science Program (March 2008). This report investigates the question of how the impacts of a changing climate may affect the nation's roads, airports, rail, transit systems, and ports. This research was conducted following a case study approach to both generate useful information for local and regional decision makers while helping to develop research methodologies for application in other locations.
U.S. Climate Change Technology Program: Strategic Plan (September 2006). This plan takes a century long look at the nature of the climate.
U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, U.S. Global Change Research Program (2000). This document is the Assessment Overview, written by the National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST). The NAST is a committee of experts drawn from governments, universities, industry, and non-governmental organizations. It has been responsible for broad over-sight of the Assessment, with the Federal agencies of the USGCRP. This Overview is based on a longer, referenced "Foundation" report, written by the NAST in cooperation with independent regional and sector assessment teams. These two national-level, peer-reviewed documents synthesize results from studies conducted by regional and sector teams, and from the broader scientific literature.
Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) (2000). The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) series of 21 "Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) integrate research results focused on important science issues and aimed to support informed discussions and decision making regarding climate variability and change by policy makers, resource managers, stakeholders, the media, and general public.
The State of Adaptation in the United States: An Overview, EcoAdapt (April 4, 2013). This report, which was produced jointly with the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, the Georgetown Climate Center, and the University of California-Davis, provides an overview of climate adaptation approaches across the United States. The report offers examples of climate change adaptation strategies used in the planning and management of cities, agriculture, and natural resources.
State-Federal Workshop on Building Resiliency to the Effects of Climate Change, Georgetown Climate Center (Feb. 23, 2013). Video recordings are available from a workshop titled “Promoting Low-Carbon Solutions and a Resilient Future Together,” held Feb. 21-22 at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.. The workshop featured presentations on current climate-related activities at the state and local levels and opportunities for federal policy to support and strengthen these actions. Highlights included state and local policies to advance electric vehicle deployment, multi-state efforts relating to sustainable transportation, and state and local efforts to respond to recent storms and increase resilience to climate change impacts.
A Survey of Regional Planning for Climate Adaptation, National Association of Regional Councils (Nov. 5, 2012). This report provides an analysis of a survey of regional planning organizations (RPOs) and their response to climate change. The survey, conducted in partnership with the University of Colorado at Denver, provides a benchmark of regional planning efforts regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation. The report also includes case studies of RPOs in Atlanta, the Houston-Galveston area, San Diego, Tampa Bay, and Washington, D.C. In addition, the report discusses recommendations for regional coordination and partnerships, data availability, public engagement, and further research.
Impacts and Adaptation Options in the Gulf Coast, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (June 6, 2012). This report calls on the Gulf Coast region's energy and fishing industries, local governments, and residents to take steps now to adapt to potential hazards associated with climate change, including more intense hurricanes, sea level rise, increasing air and water temperatures, and drought. The report emphasizes that advance planning can reduce the region's vulnerability and costs from future climate impacts and identifies adaptation strategies for energy infrastructure and the fishing industry.
Harnessing Nature: The Ecosystem Approach to Climate-Change Preparedness, Defenders of Wildlife (June 1, 2012). This report calls for a strategy of preserving and rebuilding the nation’s green infrastructure, including floodplains, wetlands, and forests, as an approach to preparing for climate change impacts. The report summarizes recent extreme weather events of 2011 and presents case studies of communities that have used green infrastructure to reduce the impacts of floods, storms, droughts, wildfires, rising sea levels. The report also offers recommendations to help agencies and communities incorporate ecosystem-based measures into their climate-change adaptation plans.
Climate Adaptation & Transportation: Identifying Information and Assistance Needs, Environment and Energy Study Institute and Center for Clean Air Policy (May 2012). The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the Center for Clean Air Policy have issued a joint report addressing the needs of transportation infrastructure in the face of climate change. The report says that local transportation officials should assess how well existing infrastructure is adapted to climate change risks and changed weather patterns. Information on elevation, soil saturation, repair history, and tide levels should be included with climate data when performing vulnerability assessments. The report recommends a national clearinghouse for climate information.
Estimated Effects of Climate Change on Flood Vulnerability of U.S. Bridges (February 2012). This article describes a study that found that there may be significant potential risks to U.S. bridges from increased precipitation intensities due to climate change, and those risks could pose huge costs to society. The study, which was funded by EPA and published in the scientific journal Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Climate Change, finds that the costs to address tens of thousands of vulnerable U.S. bridges could reach $250 billion by the end of the century, but early actions to improve deficient bridges could cut those costs by a third.
Climate Change Adaptation: What Federal Agencies are Doing, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (Feb. 28, 2012). This update to a 2010 report documents efforts by federal agencies to “mainstream” the consideration of climate change adaptation across their operations, programs, and policies. The report is organized by each major department within the federal government, highlighting adaptation initiatives such as a program office or strategic plan. The report also provides an overview of adaptation activities by the agencies or bureaus within those departments, such as initiatives and strategies, programs and institutional mechanisms, and tools and resources. In addition, the report provides examples of federal projects that incorporate climate change impacts and adaptive actions into the planning, design, and implementation process.
Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2234: Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience: Emergency Evacuation (Feb. 4, 2012). This issue includes 14 research papers on issues including improving the resilience of critical infrastructure systems post-disaster and a case study of resiliency of the transportation network of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Investing in Information to Respond to a Changing Climate, Resources for the Future (September 2011). This article in RFF’s Resources magazine considers how the United States should prioritize the collection of climate-related scientific data for determining its responses to climate change, including abrupt climate change. The article concludes that U.S. investments in climate data collection should be more systematic and targeted to what states and localities need to know to adapt to climate change.
Climate Risk Disclosure by Insurers: Evaluating Insurer Responses to the NAIC Climate Disclosure Survey, Ceres (Sept. 1, 2011). This report by investor coalition group Ceres finds that a majority of U.S. insurers are unprepared to manage risks associated with climate change. According to the report, while there is broad consensus among insurers that climate change will have an effect on extreme weather, only 11 of 88 major insurers surveyed in 2010 have formal plans in place to deal with growing climate change risks. The insurers that are paying attention to climate change are focusing on coastal impacts and hurricanes but are ignoring extreme weather risks inland, where greater losses have occurred in recent years.
NRDC Report Examines Potential Water-Related Climate Change Impacts to U.S. Cities, Natural Resources Defense Council (Aug. 31, 2011). The report, Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities, summarizes findings from climate research about local, water-related climate changes and impacts to 12 major U.S. cities. The impacts addressed include increased annual precipitation, more frequent and intense storms, and increased erosion and flooding. The report also includes a series of recommendations for local communities to prepare to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts.
TRB E-Circular Highlights Climate Change Adaptation Practices for Transportation, Transportation Research Board (June 22, 2011). This document, TRB Transportation Research E-Circular E-C152: Adapting Transportation to the Impacts of Climate Change: State of the Practice 2011, includes articles focusing on transportation adaptation practices that can be implemented to yield potential benefits now and in the longer term. The document, which highlights what climate change adaptation means for the transportation industry, was produced under the auspices of the TRB Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy. The e-circular is a companion document to TR News May–June 2010.
Reforming Institutions and Managing Extremes: U.S. Policy Approaches for Adapting to a Changing Climate, Resources for the Future (May 2011). This report compiles research conducted under the RFF Domestic Adaptation Project on federal government policy approaches for adapting to climate change impacts. The research suggests that federal agencies currently lack the necessary policies and flexible institutional capacity to respond effectively to extreme climatic events and changing weather patterns. Included are six separate reports synthesizing current scientific research on climate change impacts to agriculture, coastal and marine resources, freshwater resources, infrastructure, public health, and terrestrial ecosystems. Also included are 16 issue briefs that address specific policy topics. A summary report provides an overview on adaptation and summarizes the federal adaptation policy recommendations.
Transportation Planning, Policy and Climate Change: Making the Long-Term Connection, University Transportation Center for Mobility, Texas Transportation Institute (March 2011). This report provides a review of research and material on transportation and adaptation to climate change, identifies best practices or examples of integration of climate change into transportation planning and decision making, and looks at adaptation as a solution to potential impacts from climate change.
Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (March 3, 2011). This newly updated series provides brief reports on climate change topics such as climate science; adaptation measures; and U.S Federal, State, and local action. The updated reports highlight issues including the significance of the global negotiations, local efforts to address climate change, and current predictions on global temperature changes. Individual reports can be accessed at the following links: Overview, Science and Impacts, Adaptation, Technology, Business, International, Federal, State, Local, and Cap and Trade.
Design Standards for U.S. Transportation Infrastructure, The Implications of Climate Change, Mike Meyer, Georgia Institute of Technology (2006). This paper examines the changes to engineering design practice that might occur given climate-induced changes in environmental factors. A project design is separated into individual components that might be affected by changing environmental conditions: subsurface conditions, materials specifications, cross sections and standard dimensions, drainage and erosion, structures and location engineering. Climate-induced design factors include temperature change, precipitation and water levels, wind loads, and storm surges and wave heights. Both short- and long-term implications of these changing environmental factors are examined.
White Paper, Transportation Adaptation to Global Climate Change, Bipartisan Policy Center (December 2009). This White Paper was commissioned to identify the policy options available to support proactive measures for addressing climate change adaptation in transportation. It is intended to inform Congress and other policy-makers about policy options at the federal level that will ensure a robust transportation system in the face of a changing climate.
Adapting to Climate Change: A Call for Federal Leadership, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (April 2010). This report recommends establishing a National Adaptation Program to coordinate federal resources to minimize economic costs and protect the United States from the impacts of climate change. It also recommended creation of a National Climate Service to improve the coordination of research.
Climate Change 101: Adaptation, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (January 2009). This report, part of a series called Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change, details how adaptation planning at the local, state and national levels can limit the damage caused by climate change.
A synthesis of Potential Climate Change Impact on the U.S., Pew Center on Global Climate Change (2004). This report provides a synthesis of prior Pew Center reports regarding climate change impacts across a number of sectors and regions.
Coping with Global Climate Change, The Role of Adaptation in the United States, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (June 2004). This report provides a review of the role of adaptation in addressing climate change, the options available for increasing our ability to adapt, and the extent to which adaptation can reduce the consequences of climate change to the U.S. economy and natural resources.
Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events and the Highway System: A Practitioner’s Guide (NCHRP 20-83(05), prepublication report), Transportation Research Board (Feb. 12, 2013). This report is a prepublication draft practitioner’s guide to assist transportation agencies in adapting infrastructure and operations to impacts from climate change and extreme weather has been released in prepublication form under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP 20-83(05)). The guide provides an eight-step diagnostic framework for undertaking an adaptation assessment, including steps that should be taken to determine future climate stresses a transportation system might face; how vulnerable the system will likely be to such stresses; and strategies to avoid, minimize or mitigate potential consequences. It also describes ways to incorporate adaptation concerns into a typical transportation planning process.
Transportation Research Record Journal No. 2292: Maintenance and Preservation 2012, Transportation Research Board (December 2012). This journal is a compilation of 20 research papers on roadway maintenance and preservation-related topics. Topics covered include carbon emissions of road maintenance, maintenance costs of extreme weather events, climate impact on asphalt pavement preservation.
Expedited Procurement Procedures for Emergency Construction Services (NCHRP Synthesis 438), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (Nov. 20, 2012). This report provides a review of state emergency procurement procedures and identifies elements for the successful contracting of construction services under emergency situations. The report is based on a literature review and survey of state and federal transportation officials, a review of emergency procurement guidelines from 42 states and the Federal Highway Administration, and case studies of projects in 11 states. The report finds that emergency circumstances require that construction contracts be handled quickly but wisely. The report also finds that using streamlined versions of regular procurement procedures, and having a standing list of prequalified consultants and contractors maximize the possibility of a successful emergency repair.
Research Results Digest 378: Evaluation of Bridge Scour Research, Transportation Research Board (Sept. 17, 2012). This report presents key finding of three research projects related to bridge scour conducted under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The research evaluated processes and predictions related to pier scour, abutment and contraction scour, and geomorphic scour. The results were published previously in NCHRP Web-Only Document 175, NCHRP Web-Only Document 177, and NCHRP Web-Only Document 181.