Reports and Resources (60)
National Academies release two reports on climate intervention
Climate interventions, aka "geoengineering," refers to deliberate, large-scale manipulation of Earth’s climate intended to counteract human-caused climate change. The National Academies Press has released two reports that assess the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: carbon dioxide removal and reflecting sunlight. Neither of these types of interventions should take priority over mitigation and adaptation, the reports stress.
Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation
The American Planning Association's Hazards Planning Center worked with FEMA to develop Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation. This updated manual offers a no-nonsense explanation of the benefits and limitations of planning for unpredictable events.
Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report
This new Synthesis Report from the IPCC summarizes the contents of 5 studies released over the past year. These studies confirm that climate change caused by human activities is having impacts on ecosystems and human well-being across the U.S. and around the world.
Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources
The Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience has released a report outlining four strategies to help make our natural resources more resilient to climate change, and documenting progress and providing roadmaps for action.
Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report
A new report released by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate concludes that rapid innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible to tackle climate change while also improving economic performance.
2013's Billion Dollar Weather & Climate Disasters
According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, the United States saw nine climate and weather disaster events, each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages during 2013. These events included a drought event, two flooding events, and six severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 113 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. NCDC is the nation's scorekeeper in terms of placing extreme climate and weather events into historical perspective in this series of annual reports, dating back to 1980.
Climate Change in Colorado
The Climate Change in Colorado report is a synthesis of climate science relevant for management and planning for Colorado's water resources. The report--produced by the Western Water Assessment, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the University of Colorado Boulder--focuses on observed climate trends, climate modeling, and projections of temperature, precipitation, snowpack, and streamflow.
National Climate Assessment Released
The third National Climate Assessment, released May 6, provides an in-depth look at climate change impacts on the U.S both now and into the future. It details the multitude of ways climate change is already affecting and will increasingly affect the lives of Americans.
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.
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.
Preparing the U.S. for the Impacts of Climate Change
On November 1, President Obama issued an Executive Order to prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience.
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.
Billion Dollar Weather & Climate Disasters
According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, 2012 saw 11 climate and weather disaster events, each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages. This makes 2012 the 2nd costliest year since 1980, with a total of more than $110 billion in damages. Most of last year's damages came from Hurricane Sandy and the widespread drought. NCDC is the nation's scorekeeper in terms of placing extreme climate and weather events into historical perspective in this series of annual reports, dating back to 1980.
Pacific ENSO Update
The Pacific ENSO Update is a bulletin of the Pacific El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Applications Climate Center, providing information on climate variability for the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands. This newsletter is intended to supply information for the benefit of those involved in such climate-sensitive sectors as civil defense, resource management, and developmental planning in the various jurisdictions of the islands.
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.
Coastal Climate Adaptation Resources
An archive of adaptation resources such as guidebooks, tools, and state and local plans as well as a blog about coastal concerns by NOAA's Coastal Service Center. Users can parse resources by states or category.
NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Service Center Publications
A regularly updated database of reports, theses, working papers, and more written by PIFSC staff and collaborators.
NOAA Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications funding
The Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program addresses the needs of specific decision makers grappling with pressing climate-related issues in coastal and marine environments. This program strengthens initiatives to support interdisciplinary applications research aimed at addressing climate-related challenges in coastal communities as well as coastal and marine ecosystems.
Grants are available annually for researchers and decision makers.
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.
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.
Alaska Climate Dispatch
The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy produces this climate information tool in partnership with the Alaska Climate Research Center, SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and the National Weather Service. The quarterly Alaska Climate Dispatch provides seasonal weather and climate summaries as well as Alaska weather, wildfire, and sea ice outlooks in one easily accessible document with the latest issue and archives available online.
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.
Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series
The Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, gives a straightforward overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. The series covers energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.
Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment
Global sea level has been steadily rising for decades and is expected to continue. Scientists have very high confidence that global sea level will rise at least another 8 inches and as much as 6.6 feet by 2100, causing significant impacts in U.S. coastal regions. This report lays out the science and describes possible scenarios to help planners and policy leaders assess the risks.
Global Anthropogenic Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 1990-2030
This summary report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides historical and projected estimates of emissions of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases (GHGs) from anthropogenic sources. The report provides a consistent and comprehensive estimate of non-CO2 greenhouse gases for 92 individual countries and eight regions. The analysis provides information that can be used to understand national contributions of GHG emissions, historical progress on reductions, and mitigation opportunities. The projections represent a business-as-usual scenario that includes reductions from established sector-specific programs but not economy-wide programs or commitments.
Climate Showcase Communities Program
A database of model clean energy projects implemented in 50 diverse communities across the U.S. highlighted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The site also contains tools and resources for communities looking to start greenhouse reduction projects on their own.
Information about the energy related programs and resources within NOAA. These resources include NOAA's renewable energy program, wind forecast improvements, and solar resource database.
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.
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.
U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2008
The U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2008 (USDA GHG Inventory) is a comprehensive assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks in U.S. agriculture and forests. The USDA GHG Inventory provides extensive, in-depth emissions and sinks estimates for livestock, cropland, and forests as well as energy consumption in livestock and cropland agriculture.
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.
Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation
The Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in May 2011, assesses existing literature on the future potential of renewable energy for the mitigation of climate change. It covers the six most important renewable energy technologies, as well as their integration into present and future energy systems.
Building America: Resources for Energy-Efficient Homes
A series of publications by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to help residential builders achieve whole-house energy savings in five major climate zones.The series includes best practices and case studies for new and retrofitted projects.
Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers
A guide from NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to help coastal managers develop and implement adaptation plans in the face of climate change. The guide is designed to help U.S. state and territorial coastal managers develop and implement adaptation plans to reduce the impacts and consequences of climate change and climate variability. It was written in response to a request from state coastal managers for guidance from NOAA on adaptation planning in the coastal zone.
Building a Resilient Coast: Maine Confronts Climate Change
A five-part documentary on the concerns and interests of Maine coastal residents regarding climate change, published by Maine Sea Grant in partnership with Oregon Sea Grant. The project had several objectives: exploring how climate variability and coastal hazards are affecting the Maine coast and how these relate to coastal development; encouraging collaboration among decision-makers and coastal property owners; and discovering the barriers to taking action to prepare for or mitigate climate-related impacts.
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.
Transportation's Role in Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This U.S. Department of Transportation report, submitted to the U.S. Congress in April 2010, evaluates a range of strategies for reducing greenhouse gases from transportation including: introducing low-carbon fuels; increasing vehicle fuel economy; improving transportation system efficiency; aligning transportation planning and investments to achieve GHG reduction objectives; and pricing carbon.
Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (Transportation)
A chapter from the 2009 U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) report, titled Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, focused specifically on the intersections of climate and transportation.
Assessing Economic Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
Reliable estimates of the costs and benefits to the U.S. economy for various emissions reduction and adaptation strategies are critical to federal climate change R&D portfolio planning and investment decisions. At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Academies organized a workshop to consider these issues. The workshop participants discussed three dimensions: policy, analysis, and economics. They focused on (i) policymakers' informational needs; (ii) models and other analytic approaches to meet these needs; (iii) important economic considerations, including equity and discounting; and (iv) opportunities to enhance analytical capabilities and better inform policy.
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.
Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region
Global sea level is rising at an accelerating rate. This report examines the implications of rising sea level, with a focus on the U.S. mid-Atlantic region, where storm impacts occur and there is a large extent of critical habitat, high population densities, and infrastructure in low-lying areas.
Strategies to Promote Commercialization and Deployment of Greenhouse Gas Intensity-Reducing Technologies and Practices
This report systematically examines the market readiness of key technologies important to meeting climate change mitigation goals. It assesses the barriers and business risks impeding their progress and greater market application. The report was sponsored by the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program (a multi-agency group led by the U.S. Department of Energy) and was submitted to the President and Congress in January 2009.
Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes
Over the past 30 years, average temperatures in the Arctic have increased at almost twice the rate of the planet as a whole. Such temperature changes have been accompanied by shrinking sea ice, melting ice and permafrost on land, and widespread impacts to land and ocean ecosystems.
Estuarine Fish and Shellfish Species in the U.S. Commercial and Recreational Fisheries: Economic Value as an Incentive to Protect and Restore Estuarine Habitat
An analysis of the economic value of commercial and recreational fisheries in the United States, published in 2008.
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.
Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols
An assessment of the effects of short-lived gases and particles in the atmosphere. They can significantly change regional surface temperatures. By the year 2100 short-lived gases and particles may account for as much as 40 percent of the warming over the continental U.S. in summertime.
The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report
A synthesis of the current knowledge of North America's carbon budget and its context within the global carbon cycle. This report provides scientific information for decision support focused on key issues for carbon management and policy.
Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations
The findings presented in this report draw from scenarios designed to stabilize the influence of a suite of greenhouse gases. Three climate-modeling groups independently developed a reference scenario and then developed four contrasting stabilization scenarios for comparison.
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.
Decision Support Tools (15)
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
In response to the President's Executive Order 13653, a NOAA-led U.S. federal agency partnership released the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit to provide tools, information, & scientific expertise to help communities & businesses build resilience to climate-related impacts & extreme events.
The New Jersey FloodMapper is a user-friendly visualization tool for local communities who need to make decisions concerning flooding hazards and sea level rise. This tool should be used to promote enhanced preparedness and land use planning decisions with considerations for possible future conditions.
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.
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.
An open-source suite of tools developed specifically for farmers and ranchers in the southeastern U.S. Tools available can help growers plan for certain types of crop disease, crop yields, climate and drought risks, growing degree days, greenhouse gas emissions, and water usage.
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.
Historical Hurricane Tracks
This interactive mapping application easily searches and displays global tropical cyclone data. Users are able to query storms by the storm name, Zip Code, city, state, geographic region, or latitude/longitude coordinates. Custom queries can track storms of interest and allow for data extraction and download.
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.
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.
Crop Moisture Stress Index
A measure of the effects of drought and catastrophic wetness on national crop yields for corn and soy.
Coastal County Snapshots
Coastal County Snapshots turn complex data into easy-to-understand stories, complete with charts and graphs. Users select a coastal county of interest and the website does the rest, providing information that can help communities become more resilient to coastal hazards.
Local officials can use the snapshots as a planning tool to assess their county’s resilience to flooding and understand the benefits provided by natural resources. The handouts generated by the snapshots can be a helpful educational tool when working with governing bodies and citizen groups.Current topics include flood exposure, wetland benefits, and ocean and Great Lakes jobs.
Fact Sheets (4)
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.
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 (3)
Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program Data Products
The NOAA-funded Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) has developed a range of experimental and prototype tools to support climate-related decision-making and planning. These datasets and tools are designed to help increase resiliency and preparedness for weather and climate extremes now and in the future across the Southern-Central United States.
Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas
The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas provides online answers to questions related to the physical environment, marine resources, and economic activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Information is presented in the form of map plates with descriptions, written by recognized subject matter experts, explaining how the data were gathered and how they are relevant. The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas, prepared by NOAA, has data from federal, state and non-governmental agencies, and academia.
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.