Human activities, particularly the combustion of fossil fuels and the large-scale transformation of land cover, affect ecosystems around the world. Changes in temperature, precipitation, and water chemistry are altering our environment. These changes will also affect environmental regulatory frameworks, either rendering them ineffective or forcing them to adapt to achieve their goals under changing conditions.
A warming atmosphere is giving extra energy to storms, making the hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms of today more intense than those of the past. This trend is projected to accelerate in the years to come. These stronger storms are more likely to cause power outages, and the loss of power can be costly in terms of lives lost, economic impact, and public health. This fact sheet outlines strategies that local governments could implement to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages and help communities better withstand them when they do occur.
Climate change is contributing to more frequent, severe, and longer heat waves during summer months across the United Sates. The number of heatwaves observed in 2011 and 2012 were triple the long-term average, and require planning for economic, health and environmental tolls.
Across the United States, the risk of drought is expected to grow due to reduced precipitation and higher temperatures caused by climate change. Drought’s far-reaching impacts can ripple through communities, regions, watersheds, economies and ecosystems. This fact sheet overviews strategies for areas with a projected increase in drought conditions to become more resilient. It concludes with a community case study that has used a number of these strategies, and a list of tools to help communities evaluate the costs and benefits of resilience strategies.
The United States is facing increasingly frequent and intense precipitation events and ever higher damages from flooding each year due to climate change and urbanization. Communities, counties, and states are responding by upgrading stormwater and sewage systems with a growing emphasis on strategies to become more resilient to flooding. This paper outlines resilience strategies for flash flooding, with an emphasis on riverine and precipitation-caused flooding. For each strategy, the paper will discuss primary and co-benefits, and associated costs.
The risk of wildfire is expected to grow across the United States due to reduced precipitation in some regions, and higher temperatures caused by climate change. Wildfire has far-reaching impacts that can ripple through communities, regions, watersheds, and ecosystems. This paper overviews a number of adaptation strategies for areas with a projected increase in wildfire conditions. For each strategy, it will discuss design and operation costs, and primary and co-benefits.
The Seedlot Selection Tool (SST) is a web-based mapping application designed to help natural resource managers match seedlots with planting sites based on climatic information. The SST can be used to map current climates or future climates based on selected climate change scenarios. It is tailored for matching seedlots and planting sites, but can be used by anyone interested in mapping climates defined by temperature and water availability.
The Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA) is an interactive database funded by the Kresge Foundation and led by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) that collates a rich dataset within a visual platform to give leaders the data they need to make decisions on how best to adapt and prepare.
EPA has compiled a suite of hands-on, interactive lesson plans to complement and make use of the material on this website. The plans, aimed primarily at middle school students, work systematically and individually to reinforce students’ knowledge of climate change, as well as enhance skills across multiple disciplines. The lessons are correlated to national science standards.