U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather

The U.S. Department of Energy released this report in July 2013 as part of the President's efforts to support planning for climate change & U.S. energy security.  The report examines current and potential climate-related impacts on the energy sector and identifies activities to address these challenges.

The President's Climate Action Plan

In a speech at Georgetown University on June 25, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.

Cal-Adapt

Cal-Adapt is a web-based climate adaptation planning tool developed in part by the University of California, Berkeley's Geospatial Innovation Facility for the State of California. Cal-Adapt allows users to identify potential climate change risks in specific geographic areas throughout the state. Users can either query by location, or click on an interactive map to explore what climate impacts are projected to occur in their area of interest.

The Geological Society of America is sponsoring a conference on coastal management and sea level rise. The conference is intended to increase scientific and public awareness of the realities of global change and its impacts on coastal environments.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

The CDIAC is the primary global-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It contains information on concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radioactively active gases in the atmosphere; the role of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases; emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; long-term climate trends; the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on vegetation; and the vulnerability of coastal areas to rising sea level.

Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases-Carbon Management Evaluation Tool

A decision support tool for agricultural producers, land managers, soil scientists and other agricultural interests, COMET-VR estimates soil carbon changes for management alternatives for a ten-year projection period within each Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) allowing users to estimate soil carbon sequestration on a parcel of land. The COMET-VR tool is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In this activity, students work in groups, plotting carbon dioxide concentrations over time on overheads and estimating the rate of change over five years. Stacked together, the overheads for the whole class show an increase on carbon dioxide over five years and annual variation driven by photosynthesis. This exercise enables students to practice basic quantitative skills and understand how important sampling intervals can be when studying changes over time. A goal is to see how small sample size may give incomplete picture of data.

In this activity, students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive online model. They use the model and observations to estimate present emission rates and emission growth rates. The model is then used to estimate future levels of carbon dioxide using different future emission scenarios. These different scenarios are then linked by students to climate model predictions also used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The activity follows a progression that examines the CO2 content of various gases, explores the changes in the atmospheric levels of CO2 from 1958 to 2000 from the Mauna Loa Keeling curve, and the relationship between CO2 and temperature over the past 160,000 years. This provides a foundation for examining individuals' input of CO2 to the atmosphere and how to reduce it.

This activity from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory introduces students to the current scientific understanding of the greenhouse effect and the carbon cycle. The activity leads them through several interactive tasks investigating recent trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Students analyze scientific data and use scientific reasoning to determine the causes responsible for these recent trends. By studying carbon cycle science in a visual and interactive manner, the activity provides students with a conceptual framework with which to address the challenges of a changing climate.

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