The Alaska Regional Action Plan (ARAP) for the southeastern Bering Sea conforms to a nationally consistent blueprint, the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy. The Strategy guides efforts by NOAA Fisheries and its partners to address information needs organized into seven science objectives that represent the process of managing the Nation’s fisheries in the face of changing climate conditions. The goal of the ARAP is to increase the production, delivery and use of climate related information for marine resource management in the region. The ARAP identifies strengths, weaknesses, priorities, and actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in Alaska over the next 3-5 years, and contributes to implementation of the Strategy by focusing on building regional capacity and partnerships to address the Strategy’s seven science objectives. Successful implementation of the ARAP will require enhanced collaboration with our academic and agency partners.
The Gulf of Mexico Regional Action Plan identifies 62 actions to advance the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy at current funding and staffing levels, and others that could be accomplished with additional resources. These actions are broadly consistent with activities currently underway at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Southeast Regional Office, but will require greater integration with these offices along with greater collaboration with other NOAA regional experts, such as the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and other partners throughout the region.
The Regional Action Plan identifies key needs and actions over the next five years to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in this region. The Strategy identifies seven key information needs to fulfill NOAA Fisheries mandates for fisheries management and protected species conservation in a changing climate.
Communities in the U.S. are undertaking a rich array of climate adaptation actions that are making them more resilient to climate impacts. These actions provide models and lessons that can immediately help other communities better protect themselves from climate risks like flooding, heat waves, wildfires, and severe storms. In aggregate, these activities demonstrate that more U.S. communities are attempting to prepare for climate risks than previously thought (Melillo et al., 2014).
Within this report, we document our findings, profiling a single activity or small subset of adaptation activities undertaken in each of the 17 communities, paying specific attention to findings that hold across multiple case study communities. While this analysis did not aim to comprehensively assess all of the adaptation activities unfolding in each of the case study communities, we believe results from this analysis provide useful information for community-based champions of adaptation action and adaptation professionals looking to design locally appropriate vulnerability reduction activities. After two years of research on the state of community-based adaptation and the particular actions taken by these 17 communities, we found that communities have many of the tools needed to plan for and respond to climate change; they just need to get started.
Predicting climate change impacts on biodiversity is a major scientific challenge, but doing so is important for assessing extinction risk, developing conservation action plans, providing guidance for laws and regulations, and identifying the mechanisms and patterns of impact to inform climate change adaptation. In the few decades since the threat of climate change has been recognised, the conservation community has begun assessing vulnerability to climate change.
There is no single ‘correct’ or established way to carry out climate change vulnerability assessments (CCVA) of species. A range of methods have been developed, and a large and burgeoning scientific literature is emerging on this subject. This document aims to ease the challenge that conservation practitioners face in interpreting and using the complex and often inconsistent CCVA literature. The intended target audiences include conservation practitioners (e.g., for CCVA of their focal species or the species in their focal area) and researchers (e.g., for carrying out CCVA to serve conservation, or to evaluate the rigorousness of others’ studies).
These guidelines cover an outline of some of the terms commonly used in CCVA, and describe three dominant CCVA approaches, namely correlative (niche-based), mechanistic and trait-based approaches. This guide is structured to provide readers first with background information on definitions and metrics associated with CCVA. A discussion on identifying CCVA objectives follows, setting the stage for core guidance on selecting and applying appropriate methods. The subsequent sections focus on interpreting and communicating results, as well as suggestions for using results in Red List assessments and addressing the many sources of uncertainty in CCVAs. A final section explores future directions for CCVAs and research needs. The guide ends with ten case studies that provide essentially worked examples of CCVAs that cover the range of methods described.
This guidance document has been developed by a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment working group convened under the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Climate Change Specialist Group. The authors’ collective experience covers a broad range of ecosystems, taxonomic groups, conservation sectors and geographic regions, and has been supplemented by an extensive literature review. No guidance on this topic can be exhaustive, but nonetheless, this document should provide a useful reference for those wishing to understand and assess climate change impacts on their focal species, at site, site network and/or at broader spatial scales.
Forest ecosystems in the Central Appalachians will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the 21st century. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in the Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest-Coniferous Forest-Meadow and Eastern Broadleaf Forest Provinces of Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland for a range of future climates. Information on current forest conditions, observed climate trends, projected climate changes, and impacts on forest ecosystems was considered by a multidisciplinary panel of scientists, land managers, and academics in order to assess ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. Appalachian (hemlock)/northern hardwood forests, large stream floodplain and riparian forests, small stream riparian forests, and spruce/fir forests were determined to be the most vulnerable. Dry/mesic oak forests and dry oak and oak/pine forests and woodlands were determined to be least vulnerable. Projected changes in climate and the associated impacts and vulnerabilities will have important implications for economically valuable timber species, forest-dependent wildlife and plants, recreation, and long-term natural resource planning.
The Fish Species Climate Vulnerability Assessment Methodology provides decision-makers with information on the relative vulnerability of fish species with expected changes in climate and ocean conditions. The methodology was developed in collaboration with the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research - Earth System Research Laboratory.
Climate change is already changing ecosystems and affecting people in the southwestern United States. Rising temperatures have contributed to large-scale ecological impacts, affecting plants, animals, as well as ecosystem services, e.g., water supply. The climate of the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, is projected to get warmer over the next few decades as part of a larger pattern of warming in the western United States. Natural resource managers need to understand both past and potential future impacts of climate change on land and water resources to help inform management and conservation activities. The goals of this vulnerability assessment are to identify which species and ecosystems of the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, are likely to be most at risk to projected climatic changes and why they are likely to be vulnerable. This report is intended to help natural resource managers set priorities for conservation, develop effective adaptation strategies, and build resilience in the face of climate change.
Vulnerability is the degree to which a system or species is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. In this report, we focus on exposure and sensitivity to describe vulnerability. Exposure is the character, magnitude, and rate of climatic change a species or system is likely to experience. Sensitivity is the degree to which a system or species is affected, either adversely or beneficially, by expected climate variability or change. Vulnerability ratings of ecosystems are defined as the proportion of the ecosystem at risk of being eliminated or reduced by 2050 as a result of climate change. For species, vulnerability ratings are defined as the species’ abundance and/or range extent within the Basin likely to decrease or disappear by 2050.
This report summarizes the results of a landscape-scale climate change vulnerability assessment of the Upper Gunnison Basin (above Blue Mesa Reservoir; referred to as Gunnison Basin in this report) to determine the relative vulnerability of 24 ecosystems and 73 species of conservation concern, using methods developed by Manomet Center for Conservation Science and NatureServe. The report also summarizes the results of a social vulnerability and resilience assessment of ranching and recreation sectors in the Basin.
The impacts of a changing climate are affecting NASA's properties and operations. In response, NASA is implementing policy addressing climate change adaptation: Apply NASA's scientific expertise and products to incorporate climate information into its decision making and planning; create innovative, sustainable, and flexible solutions; and share best practices, in order to create climate-resilient NASA Centers.
Executive Order (EO) 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance," was signed by President Obama on October 5, 2009. EO 13514 required that federal agencies develop Climate Adaptation Plans to evaluate their climate change risks and vulnerabilities and to manage the effects of climate change on each agency's operations and mission in both the short and long term.
Building on these efforts, the President signed EO 13653 on November 1, 2013, "Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change." EO 13652 requires each agency to develop, implement, and update comprehensive Agency Climate Adaptation Plans that integrate consideration of climate change into agency operations and overall mission objectives. Complying with these Executive Orders for an Agency Climate Adaptation Plan, NASA developed its "Climate Risk Management Plan."
This US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) June 2014 Adaptation Plan update, prepared at the direction of the USACE Committee on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (CCPR), describes our vision, goals, and strategic approaches, our progress on priority areas, and how we plan, integrate, and evaluate measures to adapt to climate change and increase our preparedness and resilience. The plan will be updated annually and will be publicly available to our staff, partners and stakeholders following the required review by the White House. USACE tracks climate preparedness and resilience through annual metrics that address external collaboration, improving knowledge about climate impacts and adaptation, progress assessing vulnerability, and development of policy and guidance.