Decision Support Tools (9)
Drought Risk Atlas
The National Drought Mitigation Center unveiled the Drought Risk Atlas on March 21. The atlas provides analysis of data on drought frequency and severity for more than 3,000 spots across the country. The stations chosen for the atlas go back at least 40 years with nearly continuous data, and some go back more than 100 years.
The WestMap toolbox is an interactive web-based interface developed by the Climate Assessment for the Southwest in response to findings that stakeholders in the Western U.S. from a wide range of sectors require new forms of data, intuitive tools, and support resources to understand climate variability and to be able to incorporate this understanding into specific planning and management efforts. The toolbox includes a lengthy time series of fine-scale (~1-4 km) gridded climate data that can be aggregated to user-specified domains as well as helpful climate education information.
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.
Paleoclimate Reconstructions for the Southwest
The longest instrumental climate records date back only about 100 years in the Southwest, a timeframe that likely does not capture the full range of climate variability. Extending the record to earlier times provides additional information on the length and severity of past droughts. This tool created by the Climate Assessment for the Southwest allows users to visualize the climate variability during the past 1,000 years or so in each climate division in Arizona and New Mexico.
Ultraviolet Index Forecast Bulletin and Map
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center provides daily forecast maps of Ultraviolet (UV) Index for 58 U.S. cities, colored coded to their anticipated level of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to the sun's UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on our skin, eyes, and immune system.
U.S. Hazards Outlooks
A summary of forecast and hazards—including extreme heat & cold, flood & drought, winds and severe weather—for 3-7 days as well as 8-14 days into the future.
National and Local Weather Hazards
The National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. These products include forecast and warnings of environmental events that can impact human health, such as excessive heat, flooding, severe cold, and more.
U.S. Heat Stress Index
When both temperature and humidity are high, humans can experience considerable heat stress. In the U.S., extreme heat may have greater impact on human health, especially among the elderly, than any other type of severe weather. The combined effects of temperature and humidity cannot be directly measured but can be assessed by calculation of an "apparent temperature." This index of “how hot it feels” should not be confused with the Heat Index used by NOAA's National Weather Service because the latter index is not defined for temperature below 80°F (27°C) and relative humidity below 40%.
Heat Index Forecasts
Heat index products are issued from the medium-range forecast function of the Hydrological Prediction Center for days 3 through 7 during the period from May 1 through September 30. With the exception of day 3, these products are based on an ensemble of model and human forecasts. Graphic plots display the cities for which the heat index forecast is interpolated, as well as shaded contours indicating the probability of the daily maximum, daily minimum, and daily mean heat index reaching or exceeding a specific threshold.
Reports and Resources (28)
Considerations for Climate Change & Variability Adaptation on the Navajo Nation
A new report led by the University of Colorado Boulder summarizes the impact of climate change on Navajo Nation lands and discusses factors that affect people’s vulnerabilities to climate impacts, and outlines a way for the region's residents to plan for ongoing environmental change.
Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change
On April 15 in Berlin, Germany, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approved and released Working Group III's Fifth Assessment Report - a comprehensive assessment of all relevant options for mitigating climate change through limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as activities that remove them from the atmosphere.
Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
On March 31 in Yokohama, Japan, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approved and released Working Group II's Summary for Policymakers and the underlying scientific and technical assessment.
WMO Releases Annual Status of the Global Climate Report
The dramatic impact of climate variability and climate change continued to be felt all over the world throughout 2013.The World Meteorological Organization statement on the status of the global climate in 2013 provides a snapshot of global and regional trends in weather and climate over the past year and highlights some of the year’s most significant extreme events.
Mainstreaming Gender in Health Adaptation to Climate Change Programs
The World Health Organization has released a guide targeted towards program managers who work in climate change and health adaptation. It provides them with practical information and guidance designed to mainstream gender as projects move through different phases.
Atlas of Health & Climate
The Atlas of Health and Climate report was the product of collaboration between the World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization. The report aims to provide sound scientific information on the connections between weather and climate and major health challenges.
Developing Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) released a guidance report to help local health departments leverage existing resources on climate change and public health indicators to make plans and decisions at the local level.
Switch to Natural Gas Power Plants Reduces Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Power plants that use natural gas release far less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than coal-fired power plants, according to a new study from CIRES and NOAA scientists.
National Academies Report: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change
Climate is changing, but how quickly? Will the changes be gradual, allowing natural systems and societal infrastructure to adjust in a timely fashion? Or will some of the changes be more abrupt, changing so fast that orderly adaptation is not possible? This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on potential abrupt changes to the ocean, atmosphere, ecosystems, and high latitude areas, and identifies key research and monitoring needs.
New York City updates sustainability plans with PlaNYC
In the wake of Sandy’s devastation, the city of New York announced PlaNYC – a long-term sustainability plan based on the latest climate science. The report includes ideas on how to rebuild the communities affected by the 2012 storm and how to increase resilience and infrastructure of buildings citywide in order to protect against future extreme events.
Drought Resilience Partnership formed under Climate Action Plan
Under the Climate Action Plan, the White House launched the National Drought Resilience Partnership on November 1. The partnership will make it easier for communities to find drought assistance and preparedness information by promoting partnership and information-sharing across government.
Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States
A part of the 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment, this book gives an overview of the past, present, and projected future of the southwest region's climate, emphasizing new information and understandings since publication of the previous national assessment in 2009. It examines what climate and climate change mean for the health and well-being of human populations and the environment. The book looks at climate's effects on the region's watersheds and ecosystems, links between supply and demand of natural resources, and impacts on key sectors — such as water, agriculture, energy, and transportation. It also includes information on responses and preparedness to reduce vulnerabilities and improve resilience to extremes of weather and climate.
Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH)
The U.S. Global Change Research Program recently launched the Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH). The tool offers centralized access to metadata about thousands of government-held datasets related to human health, the environment, and climate science for researchers and decision makers. MATCH is easily searchable and browsable by topic, keyword, and region, allowing users to quickly find resources of interest and relevance, including monitoring and surveillance datasets, early warning systems, and tools for characterizing climate-related human health impacts.
U.S. Climate Change Webinars
Southwest Climate Change Network
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.
Southwest Climate Outlook
The Climate Assessment for the Southwest puts out monthly outlooks for the region. These outlooks include a look at last month's temperature and precipitation data, the current state of El Niño/La Niña and reservoir levels, and forecasts for temperature, precipitation, and streamflow. Additional seasonal sections of the outlook include wildland fire and snowpack updates. Archives are also available online.
Alaska Climate Webinar Archives
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.
2013 Draft National Climate Assessment
Global climate is changing, and this is apparent across the U.S. in a wide range of observations. Rising temperatures, changes in precipitation and extreme events and their causes and impacts on society and the environment are chronicled in the 2013 National Climate Assessment. A team of over 240 experts compiled the report, which is open for public comment through April 12, 2013.
When Every Drop Counts: Protecting Public Health During Drought Conditions—A Guide for Public Health Professionals
This publication, by the Centers for Disease Control, is intended to assist public health officials, practitioners, and other stakeholders in their efforts first to understand and then to prepare for drought in their communities. It provides information about how drought affects public health, recommends steps to help mitigate the health effects of drought, identifies future needs for research and other drought related activities, and provides a list of helpful resources and tools.
Maine's Climate Future
A report that considers past change over geologic time, recent evidence of accelerated rates of change, and the implications of continued climate change in Maine during the 21st century as a result of greenhouse gas emissions and their associated pollutants.
America’s Climate Choices
This is the final report in the America’s Climate Choices series. It includes analysis by scientists, engineers, economists, business leaders and policy experts on how to address climate change in the United States. The report advocates for an iterative risk management approach to climate change and using strong federal climate policies to support and enhance existing local, state and private sector efforts. It identifies four key areas policymakers should focus on.
Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change
Much of the nation’s experience to date in managing and protecting its people, resources, and infrastructure is based on the historic record of climate variability during a period of relatively stable climate. This report from the America’s Climate Choices suite of studies concludes that adaptation to climate change calls for a new paradigm--one that considers a range of possible future climate conditions and associated impacts, some well outside the realm of past experience.
A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change
The purpose of this 2010 National Institutes of Health publication is to identify research needs for all aspects of the research-to-decision making pathway that will help researchers and decision makers understand and mitigate the health effects of climate change as well as ensure that decision makers choose the healthiest and most efficient approaches to climate change adaptation.
Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009)
Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow. Consequently, crops and livestock production will be increasingly challenged and threats to human health will increase. These are two key findings presented in this 2009 assessment report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The report gives an overview of climate-related issues and impacts for seven geographical regions and seven sectors of society.
Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts
A detailed look at global distributions and properties of airborne particles known as "aerosols." The report examines the various ways in which aerosols influence climate, and the uncertainties in our ability to observe and measure these particles' impact on the climate system.
Uses and Limitations of Observations, Data, Forecasts, and Other Projections in Decision Support for Selected Sectors and Regions
Scientific information about Earth's climate, water, air, land, and other dynamic processes is essential for our understanding of humankind's relationship to our natural resources and our environment. This report examines contributions of Earth science information in decision support activities and their relationship to climate change science.
Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems
A review of impacts of global climate change on three broad dimensions of the human condition: human health, human settlements, and human welfare. This report examines opportunities for adaptation and associated recommendations for addressing data gaps and near- and long-term research goals.
Excessive Heat Events Guidebook
The Environmental Protection Agency produced this publication with assistance from federal, state, local, and academic partners. It is designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others plan for and respond to excessive heat events. The Guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas. Developed in partnership with NOAA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Homeland Security, the Guidebook provides a menu of options that officials can use to respond to these events in their communities. Municipal officials in both the U.S. and Canada also provided useful information that can be used to help the public cope with excessive heat.
Fact Sheets (3)
Reducing the Nation's Vulnerability to Extreme Weather & Climate
NOAA is helping people prepare and protect their homes, communities, and businesses from extreme climate- and weather-related impacts.
Preparing for Drought & Water Resource Challenges
All regions and economic sectors in the U.S. depend on adequate and reliable water supplies. This briefing sheet describes how NOAA is working to help the nation understand, prepare for, and respond to drought, flooding, and other water resource challenges.
Toward a Climate Smart Nation
Americans' health, security, and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. This briefing sheet describes how NOAA is leveraging its climate science and services to help the nation prepare for the impacts of climate variability and change.
Data Products (9)
Air Quality Forecast Guidance Maps
Twice per day NOAA's National Weather Services publishes digital maps that show national forecasts for ozone, smoke, and dust. Ozone is shown as 1-hour and 8-hour concentrations. Official Air Quality point forecasts, issued by state and local air quality forecasters, along with additional information on air quality can be found under EPA's AIRNow site. Surface and column-averaged concentrations of predicted smoke for large fires are displayed as 1-hour averages, updated each day.
Smoke Forecasting System
The NOAA Smoke Forecasting System integrates satellite information on the location of wildfires with weather data inputs from the North American Mesoscale model and smoke dispersion simulations. The result is a daily prediction of smoke transport and concentration 48 hours into the future. The model also incorporates U.S. Forest Service estimates for wildfire smoke emissions based on vegetation cover. This system is intended as guidance for air quality forecasters and the public for fine particulate matter emitted from large wildfires and agricultural burning, which can elevate concentrations of fine particles to unhealthy levels. Particle pollution can be particularly hazardous for people with asthma and other respiratory illneses.
Air Stagnation Index
Atmospheric pollution manifests itself in many ways, ranging from reduced visibility to dangerous respiratory problems and discomfort. Atmospheric pollution can be gaseous (e.g. ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and/or particulate (e.g. soot, dust). The degree of pollution is dependent on a number of factors: source, transport from source, and build up over time through air stagnation. The stagnation index maps show where in the United States air has stagnated, leading to potential impacts on human and environmental health.
Global Vegetation Health Products
The vegetation health products can be used as proxy data for monitoring vegetation health, drought, soil saturation, moisture and thermal conditions, fire risk, greenness of vegetation cover, vegetation fraction, leave area index, start/end of the growing season, crop and pasture productivity, teleconnection with ENSO, desertification, mosquito-borne diseases, invasive species, ecological resources, land degradation, etc.
Integrated Surface Database
Compiles global hourly and synoptic observations from numerous sources into a single common ASCII format and common data model. Station data available worldwide with some data as far back as 1901. Over 11,000 stations are currently "active" and updated daily. Includes many parameters such as wind speed & direction, wind gust, temperature, dew point, cloud data, sea level pressure, altimeter setting, station pressure, present weather, visibility, precipitation amounts for various time periods, snow depth, and more.
Comparative Climatic Data
These data tables of meteorological elements outline the climatic conditions at major weather observing stations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Pacific Islands. The data are from observing sites presently in use or include data from former sites that are comparable in exposure. Stations having less than 3 years of data for the current operating site are omitted from the tables of observed data.
Monthly editions contain station daily maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation. Some stations provide daily snowfall, snow depth, evaporation, and soil temperature data. Each issue also contains monthly summaries for heating and cooling degree days (65 degrees Fbase). The July issue also contains monthly heating degree days and snow data for the preceding July through June. The annual issue contains monthly and annual averages of temperature, precipitation, temperature extremes, freeze data, soil temperatures, evaporation, and a recap of monthly cooling degree days.
Local Climatological Data
A monthly summary from major airport weather stations that includes a daily account of temperature extremes, degree days, precipitation and winds. Also included are the hourly precipitation and abbreviated 3-hourly weather observations.
NOAA's National Climatic Data Center issues monthly storm data containing a chronological listing, by states, of storm occurrences and unusual weather phenomena. Reports contain information on storm paths, deaths, injuries, and property damage. An "Outstanding storms of the month" section highlights severe weather events with photographs, illustrations, and narratives. Users may also search the NCDC Storm Event database to find various types of storms recorded in your county or use other selection criteria as desired.