State and regional transportation agencies across the country are facing an increase in extreme weather events that damage roads, bridges and other transportation facilities. Heat waves, drought, storm surges and heavy downpours are becoming more frequent and severe. Sea level rise that is already affecting coastal assets and communities today will accelerate in the future. These climate change and extreme weather events pose significant risks to the safety, reliability, effectiveness, and sustainability of the Nation's transportation system.
A new federal infrastructure package presents a critical opportunity to strengthen America’s infrastructure against the growing risks posed by extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. Enhancing the climate resilience of the nation’s infrastructure can substantially reduce future losses, benefiting public health, safety, quality of life, and prosperity. This policy brief outlines the benefits of climate-resilient infrastructure and criteria that should inform infrastructure planning and investment to enhance climate resilience.
The US Forest Service has published a new report that presents the first-ever synthesis on agroforestry as a mechanism to provide mitigation and adaptation services in the face of a changing climate. With contributions from more than 50 experts from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, this report draws upon recent science and shows how tree-based management strategies can improve agricultural production and resiliency.
This article, jointly authored by ICF International and others, assesses the current state of knowledge on the magnitude of adaptation cost in the United States. While incomplete, the studies suggest that adaptation cost could be as high as hundreds of billions of dollars annually by mid-century.
This paper analyzes how state climate adaptation plans treat agriculture and food systems, and identifies challenges and best practices and lift-up innovative approaches for the future. To conduct the analysis, every state was catalouged with a climate adaptation plan that makes concrete recommendations for agricultural adaptation. A list of every agriculture-related policy proposal was created in each state plan and sorted those strategies into ten categories based on our best interpretation of their goals.
Climate change may undermine the effectiveness of current efforts to conserve wildlife and ecosystems. Given that time and money for conservation are limited, there is a need for responsible investments that embrace the realities of a changing climate. A thorough consideration of anticipated climate change impacts can reveal the necessity of intentional, strategic, and forward-looking adjustments to what kinds of actions are being implemented, where actions are located, when actions are needed, and what goals those actions are designed to achieve.
Climate change adaptation presents a challenge for federal land management agencies in the United States. Increasingly, these agencies are turning to the concept of resilience to guide planning for an uncertain future. Resilience refers to the ability of a system to withstand disturbances and maintain its general structure and function. However, the concept can be challenging to operationalize, and a range of types of resilience and definitions for the concept exist.
In episode 58 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons talks with author and lecturer Elizabeth Rush, of Brown University. Elizabeth is the author of the upcoming book, Rising – Dispatches from the New American Shore. Topics discussed in this episode:
Today, cultural heritage planning and decision-making operate under considerable climate, political, and financial uncertainties and constraints. Consequently, decision-makers are often left making value-laden judgments of what to preserve, restore, and maintain in their best judgments, which can leave them open to criticism for not protecting the cultural resources most important to various and diverse stakeholder groups. Thus, a transparent and robust process to optimally maintain cultural heritage values for present and future generations is needed.
This presentation reviews approaches to adaptation, including short-term and long-term management options that reduce stressors and focus on enabling plants, animals and people to respond to climate influences. Challenges include a limited capacity to detect change, and societal challenge in prioritizing adaptation. The talk provides examples of climate adaptation strategies from several forests and locations, and tactical steps that managers can use to review, rank, resolve climate issues.