Decision Support Tools (18)
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.
Assessing the Vulnerability of Fish Stocks in a Changing Climate
NOAA Fisheries and NOAA’s Earth Research Laboratory have finalized a new methodology to rapidly assess the vulnerability of U.S. marine stocks to a changing climate. The methodology uses existing information on climate and ocean conditions, species distributions, and species life history characteristics in order to estimate the relative vulnerability of fish stocks to potential changes in climate.
Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy
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.
Introducing the Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT)
NOAA unveiled this powerful new tool in July 2013 to help users produce data-driven answers to climate-related questions. The tool helps users link local weather and water events to signals in the climate system; understand how global climate change contributes to local climate trends; and explore how climate variability contributes to local impacts. Registration is required to use LCAT.
The PacificIslandsClimate.org (PIKO) website is a gateway to a broad range of information related to climate in the Pacific Islands. PIKO includes summaries of programs, projects, and activities, as well as data, information products, and services.
Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System
In 2011, a drought of strong intensity and vast geographical extent developed in the southern United States. As the drought intensified, there was a need to improve the communication with decision makers to help them anticipate and manage the drought's impacts. A four-pronged approach was used to begin the conversation across the region: state drought planning workshops, climate outlook forums, management webinars and media engagement, and a bilateral collaboration in the Rio Grande / Bravo basin.
Red River Basin Decision Information Network
A suite of web-based tools developed for the Red River Basin in response to the 1997 floods and designed for decision makers and the general public.
TreeFlow is a comprehensive web resource for tree-ring reconstructions of streamflow and climate, providing easy access to reconstruction data as well as information about how the data were developed, and can be used. Originally developed by researchers at the Climate Assessment for the Southwest, TreeFlow has a growing collection of tree ring constructions for river basins throughout the Western United States.
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 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.
Arizona DroughtWatch is a tool designed by the Climate Assessment for the Southwest to collect, summarize, and display timely observations of drought impacts across Arizona. The tool was developed to support drought monitoring efforts spearheaded by county-level Local Drought Impact Groups organized in support of the Arizona State Drought Preparedness Plan.
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.
C-CAP Land Cover Atlas
An online data viewer from NOAA's Coastal Services Center providing user-friendly access to regional land cover and land cover change information. The Land Cover Atlas eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing Coastal Change Analysis Program data for the user and providing easy access. The tool summarizes general change trends (such as forest losses or new development) and can highlight specific changes of interest (salt marsh losses to open water, or evergreen forest losses to development, for instance).
Impervious Surface Analysis Tool
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.
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.
U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought is one of the most costly natural disasters affecting the United States. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) helps the nation and North America understand and proactively prepare for drought by providing data and information about the extent and potential impacts of drought and associated risks. The system provides a variety of decision support tools to help people prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought.
A tool that provides a flexible capability for creating user-determined climate change scenarios for assessing the potential impacts of climate change on sediment loading to streams using the the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Model. In combination with the existing capabilities of WEPP for assessing the effectiveness of management practices, WEPPCAT also can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies for managing the impacts of climate change.
EPA BASINS 4.0 Climate Assessment Tool
A tool that integrates geographical information, watershed data, and state-of-the-art modeling tools. Specifically, BASINS CAT provides flexible capabilities for creating climate change scenarios allowing users to quickly assess a wide range of "what if" questions about how weather and climate could affect their systems.
Reports and Resources (40)
NOAA Releases Arctic Action Plan
Climate change is making the Arctic a greener, warmer, and increasingly accessible place for economic opportunity. However, climate impacts such as sea ice loss and rising ocean acidification are straining coastal community resilience and sound resource stewardship. The NOAA Arctic Action Plan report outlines ways for scientists and stakeholders to share their progress regarding this vast, valuable, and vulnerable region.
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.
Mapping the River Ahead
As the climate changes, critical challenges face water managers, farmers, public agencies and conservationists in the Colorado River Basin. A new report by Carpe Diem West Academy, in partnership with the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, University of Montana, documents the concerns of some Colorado River thought leaders and their ideas about potential solutions and paths ahead.
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.
Navigating Change: Hawaii's Approach to Adaptation
A report based on the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) was recently presented to the President's Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The report examines climate change impacts in Hawaii and also assesses the adaptive capacity of the Pacific Island communities.
Managing for a Future in a Rapidly Changing Arctic
In consultation with the National Ocean Council, the National Security Staff, and the Arctic Research Commission, the Alaska Interagency Working Group completed a report describing environmental, social, and economic issues in the arctic U.S. to the federal government and its partners in order to address management challenges in the region.
Sensitivity Study Helps Salt Lake City Plan for the Future
A new study published in the journal Earth Interactions has found that rising temperatures challenge Salt Lake City’s water supply. The research shows that every degree Fahrenheit of warming in the Salt Lake City region could mean a 1.8 to 6.5 percent drop in the annual flow of streams that provide water to the city. The sensitivity study aimed to help the city, and others in the Intermountain West, plan for the future.
NCDC Releases Latest Regional Climate Impacts and Outlooks Reports
In late December, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and its partners released regional climate impact assessments for the first quarter of 2014. The reports discuss the major climate events during the past three months and contain historical seasonal assessments as well as future climate outlooks.
USC Seagrant Outlines L.A.'s Vulnerability to Future Sea Level Rise
In anticipation of rising sea levels, a team from the University of Southern California Sea Grant partnered with the city of Los Angeles to gauge the impact of rising tides on local communities and infrastructure in order to protect at-risk assets through proactive planning and early identification of adaptation measures.
U.S. Submits 2014 Climate Action Report to UNFCCC
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.
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.
Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis
On September 27, 2013, Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its report to member governments for approval and acceptance. The report is the first of four that will make up the IPCC's 5th Assessment.
Climate Sensitivity of the Nation's Estuaries
The United States' 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) are experiencing negative effects of human and climate-related stressors, according to a new report from NOAA's National Ocean Service. This is the first national-scale climate sensitivity analysis of estuaries to help coastal managers protect the health of estuaries.
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.
Climate Change and Pacific Islands: Indicators and Impacts
Climate Change and Pacific Islands: Indicators and Impacts is a report developed by the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) aimed at assessing the state of climate knowledge, impacts, and adaptive capacity of Hawaii and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands.
U.S. Climate Change Webinars
NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program funding
The Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP) supports interdisciplinary research to advance understanding of how climate variability and change affect key socio-economic sectors, and promotes the application of this new knowledge in climate-related decisions. SARP works with scientists and decision makers (e.g., resource managers and policy leaders) to develop new tools and methodologies that they can incorporate into decision-making scenarios. The goal is to help decision makers better prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts. SARP’s current foci are water resource management initiatives for coping with drought, and extreme event preparedness.
Grants are available annually for researchers and decision makers.
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.
National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy
From the Arctic to the Everglades, impacts like rising sea levels, warmer temperatures, loss of sea ice, and changing precipitation patterns are affecting the species we care about, the services we value, and the places we call home. Federal, state, and tribal partners with input from many other diverse groups from across the nation have worked to develop a common strategy to respond to these challenges. The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is currently in draft form and, when finished, will provide a unified approach for reducing the negative impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend.
Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force Progress Report
A report from the White House Climate Change Adaptation Task Force outlining the federal government's progress towards better understanding, preparing for, and responding to extreme events and other climate change impacts.
National Action Plan for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate
A plan published by the White House Climate Change Adaptation Taskforce to help freshwater resource managers assure adequate water supplies, safeguard water quality and aquatic ecosystems, and protect human life, health and property. The plan lays out six goals for effective management: Establish a Planning Process to Adapt Water Resources Management to a Changing Climate
- Improve Water Resources and Climate Change Information for Decision-Making
- Strengthen Assessment of Vulnerability of Water Resources to Climate Change
- Expand Water Use Efficiency
- Support Integrated Water Resources Management
- Support Training and Outreach to Build Response Capability
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.
Drought Impact Reporter
The National Drought Mitigation Center launched the Drought Impact Reporter (DIR) in July 2005 as the nation’s first comprehensive database of drought impacts. DIR collects and displays drought impact information for the U.S., providing researchers and interested members of the public with more context and detail on drought, as well as more readily summarized information.
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.
The Drought-Ready Communities pilot project culminated in summer 2010 with a Guide to Community Drought Preparedness that communities throughout the U.S. can use to understand and reduce their drought risk.The process outlined in the Guide is broad-based, recognizing that drought creates problems that go beyond the scope of what water suppliers alone can address. With that in mind, the guide provides worksheets, planning tips, and case studies to help communities hone in on processes and solutions to drought.
Coastal Strategies for Addressing Climate Change
A collection of case studies and information about how coastal communities can plan for and adapt to climate change. These resources represent a national guide for how coastal communities can plan and adapt. Case study issues range from coastal managers addressing sea level rise in Rhode Island to coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures in Florida.
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.
Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (Water)
A chapter from the 2009 U.S. Global Change Research Program report, titled Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, focused specifically on the intersections of climate and water resources.
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.
Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations Using Seasonal-to-Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data: A Focus on Water Resources
An evaluation of decision support experiments that have used seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts and observational data. Earth's climate varies naturally and also changes in response to human activity. Our ability to adapt and respond to climate depends on our understanding of the system and how to incorporate this understanding into resource management decisions.
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.
The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States
An assessment of the effects of climate change on U.S. land resources, water resources, agriculture, and biodiversity. There is robust consensus that human-induced climate change is occurring. This report discusses the nation's ability to identify, observe, and monitor climate-related stresses that influence agriculture, land resources, water resources, and biodiversity.
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.
Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States
This report summarizes the effects of climate change on energy production and use in the United States. It also identifies where research could reduce uncertainties about vulnerabilities, possible effects, and strategies to reduce negative effects and increase adaptive capacity.
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
An international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment evaluates and synthesizes knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences for the Arctic region.
Fact Sheets (5)
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.
Sustaining Marine Ecosystems in a Changing Climate
NOAA envisions a future with a strong economy and thriving marine ecosystems. NOAA and its partners are working to identify and manage risks to our nation's valuable marine ecosystems and the services they provide.
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.
Preparing for Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding
The U.S. has one of the world's largest and most diverse coastal zones. Climate variability and change present real threats to our coasts. NOAA is working with partners to build climate-smart coastal communities.
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 (2)
Regional Snowfall Index
NOAA produces the Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) for significant snowstorms that impact the eastern two-thirds of the United States. The RSI ranks snowstorm impacts on a scale from 1 to 5, similar to the Fujita scale for tornadoes or the Saffir-Simpson scale for hurricanes.
U.S. Snow Climatology
Here you can access snowfall and snow depth statistics for several thousand non-airport stations in the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative (COOP) Network across the contiguous U.S. and Alaska. Data are available for daily, monthly, and seasonal snowfall and snow depth totals, which are useful in economic and engineering decision-making, and provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with an objective basis for declaring federal snow disasters.