The U.S. Department of State has submitted its 2014 Climate Action Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The report details actions the United States is taking domestically and internationally to mitigate, adapt to, and assist others in addressing climate change.
President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force released a rebuilding strategy that outlines a set of principles and recommendations to guide recovery and rebuilding efforts in the wake of Sandy. The Strategy will help ensure communities are better able to withstand and recover from future storms.
The Southwest Climate Change Network is a virtual community for scientists, other experts, decision makers, and the public to share information on climate change and collaborate on solutions. The site provides static and dynamic content and encourages readers to engage with each other and the scientists behind the site and ask questions about what matters to them when it comes to climate in the Southwest.
The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy has an archive of all its webinars on a variety of climate issues in the Alaska and the Arctic. The webinar series is also ongoing with new speakers and topics scheduled regularly.
OpenNSPECT, an open-source version of the Nonpoint-Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool (N-SPECT), is a plugin to the free MapWindow GIS open-source platform. Enhancements in this version of N-SPECT include faster processing time, additional coefficients for common land cover data products, and a comparison function to evaluate differences in land use scenarios.
This tool from NOAA's Coastal Service Center helps to construct websites that identify potential hazards for specific locations. Website users identify the location by address, owner name, or by clicking in the map. The tool queries the hazards data to determine the hazards zone(s) for the location. Typical users include planning and permitting departments, residents applying for building permits, hazard mitigation officials, and natural resource planners. The tool's functionality can be set up for any location that has the required data and resources.
The Impervious Surface Analysis Tool (ISAT), which is available as a geographic information system extension, is used to calculate the percentage of impervious surface area within user-selected geographic areas (e.g, watersheds, municipalities, subdivisions). In small watersheds, the correlation between an increase in impervious surfaces and a decrease in water quality has been well established. People use the information derived from ISAT to predict how different management scenarios might impact local water quality.
CanVis is a visualization program used to see potential impacts from coastal development or sea level rise. Users can download background pictures and insert the objects (hotel, house, marina, or other objects) of their choosing. The free PC-based software is used by municipalities to brainstorm new ideas and policies, undertake project planning, and make presentations.
Climate normals are the average values of meteorological parameters -- such as temperature, precipitation, frost/freeze data, and snowfall data -- over 30-year spans. The climate normals data help describe typical climate conditions for a given place and time of year, and are used as a baseline to which current conditions can be compared.