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1 Climate Change Impacts in the United States HIGHLIGHTS U.S. National Climate Assessment U.S. Global Change Research Program

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3 OF HIGHLIGHTS Climate Change Impacts in the United States Observed U.S. Temperature Change The colors on the map show temperature changes over the past 22 years (1991-2012) compared to the 1901-1960 average for the contiguous U.S., and to the 1951-1980 average for Alaska and Hawai‘i. The bars on the graph show the average temperature changes for the U.S. by decade for 1901-2012 (relative to the 1901-1960 average). The far right bar (2000s decade) includes 2011 and 2012. The period from 2001 to 2012 was warmer than any previous decade in every region. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). Energy choices will affect the Members of the National Guard Solar power use is increasing Climate change is increasing the lay sandbags to protect against and is part of the solution to vulnerability of forests to wildfires amount of future climate change. Missouri River flooding. across the U.S. West. climate change. iii

4 Online at: nca2014.globalchange.gov This report was produced by an advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, for the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, and at the request of the U.S. Government. Therefore, the report is in the public domain. Some materials used in the report are copyrighted and permission was granted to the U.S. government for their publication in this report. For subsequent uses that include such copyrighted materials, permission for reproduction must be sought from the copyright holder. In all cases, credit must be given for copyrighted materials. First published 2014 Printed in the United States of America ISBN 9780160924033 Recommended Citation Highlights of Climate Change Impacts in the Melillo, Jerry M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and Gary W. Yohe, Eds., 2014: . U.S. Global Change Research Program, 148 pp. United States: The Third National Climate Assessment Published by the U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov; Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2104 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 20402-0001

5 Online at: nca2014.globalchange.gov May 2014 Members of Congress: On behalf of the National Science and Technology Council and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, we are pleased to transmit the report of the Third National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Impacts in the United States . As required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, this report has collected, evaluated, and integrated observations and research on climate change in the United States. It focuses both on changes that are happening now and further changes that we can expect to see throughout this century. This report is the result of a three-year analytical effort by a team of over 300 experts, overseen by a broadly constituted Federal Advisory Committee of 60 members. It was developed from information and analyses gathered in over 70 workshops and listening sessions held across the country. It was subjected to extensive review by the public and by scientific experts in and out of government, including a special panel of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. This process of unprecedented rigor and transparency was undertaken so that the findings of the National Climate Assessment would rest on the firmest possible base of expert judgment. We gratefully acknowledge the authors, reviewers, and staff who have helped prepare this Third National Climate Assessment. Their work in assessing the rapid advances in our knowledge of climate science over the past several years has been outstanding. Their findings and key messages not only describe the current state of that science but also the current and future impacts of climate change on major U.S. regions and key sectors of the U.S. economy. This information establishes a strong base that government at all levels of U.S. society can use in responding to the twin challenges of changing our policies to mitigate further climate change and preparing for the consequences of the climate changes that can no longer be avoided. It is also an important scientific resource to empower communities, businesses, citizens, and decision makers with information they need to prepare for and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. When President Obama launched his Climate Action Plan last year, he made clear that the essential information contained in this report would be used by the Executive Branch to underpin future policies and decisions to better understand and manage the risks of climate change. We strongly and respectfully urge others to do the same. Sincerely, Dr. John P. Holdren Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy NOAA Administrator Executive Office of the President U.S. Department of Commerce i

6 Federal National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) Chair Jerry Melillo, Marine Biological Laboratory Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting and Stanford University Vice-Chairs Richard Moss, University of Maryland and PNNL Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Van Ness Feldman, LLP Philip Mote, Oregon State University Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District Committee Members Marie O’Neill, University of Michigan Daniel Abbasi, GameChange Capital, LLC Lindene Patton, Zurich Financial Services E. Virginia Armbrust, University of Washington John Posey, East-West Gateway Council of Governments Timothy (Bull) Bennett, Kiksapa Consulting, LLC Sara Pryor, Indiana University Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan and PCAST Andrew Rosenberg, University of New Hampshire and Union of Maria Blair, Independent Concerned Scientists James Buizer, University of Arizona Richard Schmalensee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lynne M. Carter, Louisiana State University Henry Schwartz, HGS Consultants, LLC F. Stuart Chapin III, University of Alaska Joel Smith, Stratus Consulting Camille Coley, Florida Atlantic University Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois Jan Dell, ConocoPhillips Ex Officio Committee Members Placido dos Santos, WestLand Resources, Inc. Ko Barrett, U.S. Department of Commerce Paul Fleming, Seattle Public Utilities Katharine Batten, U.S. Agency for International Development Guido Franco, California Energy Commission Virginia Burkett, U.S. Department of the Interior Mary Gade, Gade Environmental Group Patricia Cogswell, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Aris Georgakakos, Georgia Institute of Technology Gerald Geernaert, U.S. Department of Energy David Gustafson, Monsanto Company John Hall, U.S. Department of Defense David Hales, Second Nature Leonard Hirsch, Smithsonian Institution Sharon Hays, Computer Sciences Corporation William Hohenstein, U.S. Department of Agriculture Mark Howden, CSIRO Patricia Jacobberger-Jellison, National Aeronautics and Space Anthony Janetos, Boston University Administration Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy Thomas R. Karl, Subcommittee on Global Change Research, U.S. Rattan Lal, Ohio State University Department of Commerce Arthur Lee, Chevron Corporation George Luber, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Jo-Ann Leong, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology C. Andrew Miller, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Diana Liverman, University of Arizona and Oxford University Robert O’Connor, National Science Foundation Rezaul Mahmood, Western Kentucky University Susan Ruffo, White House Council on Environmental Quality Edward Maibach, George Mason University Arthur Rypinski, U.S. Department of Transportation Michael McGeehin, RTI International Trigg Talley, U.S. Department of State Executive Team Federal John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Tamara Dickinson, Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Technology Policy and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Energy, White House Office of Science and Fabien Laurier, Director, Third National Climate Assessment, White Katharine Jacobs, Director, National Climate Assessment, White House Technology Policy House Office of Science and Technology Policy (through December 2013) Office of Science and Thomas Armstrong, Director, U.S. Global Change Research Program Glynis C. Lough, NCA Chief of Staff, U.S. Global Change Research National Coordination Office, White House Office of Science and Program Technology Policy David Easterling, NCA Technical Support Unit Director, NOAA NCDC Thomas R. Karl, Chair, Subcommittee on Global Change Research, U.S. Department of Commerce Assessment Support Staff Highlights and Report Production Team Fredric Lipschultz, Senior Scientist, Regional Coordinator Susan Joy Hassol, Senior Science Writer Susan Aragon-Long, Senior Scientist, Sector Coordinator Brooke Stewart, Science Editor/Production Coordinator Emily Therese Cloyd, Public Participation/Engagement Coordinator Tom Maycock, Technical Editor Ilya Fischhoff, Program Coordinator Daniel Glick, Editor Bryce Golden-Chen, Program Coordinator Sara W. Veasey, Creative Director Julie Maldonado, Engagement Assistant, Tribal Coordinator Jessicca Griffin, Lead Graphic Designer Alison Delgado, Scientist, Sector Coordinator Report Authors and Additional Staff, see page 98 ii

7 About the NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT The National Climate Assessment assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. It documents climate change related impacts and responses for various sectors and regions, with the goal of better informing public and Climate Change Impacts private decision-making at all levels. in the United States A team of more than 300 experts (see page 98), guided by a 60-member National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (listed on page ii) produced the full report – the largest and most diverse team to produce a U.S. climate assessment. Stakeholders involved in the development of the assessment included decision-makers from the public and private sectors, resource and environmental managers, researchers, representatives from businesses and non-governmental organizations, and the general public. More than 70 workshops and listening sessions were held, and thousands of public and expert comments on the draft report provided additional input to the process. U.S. National Climate Assessment U.S. Global Change Research Program The assessment draws from a large body of scientific peer-reviewed research, technical input reports, and other publicly available sources; all Online at: sources meet the standards of the Information Quality Act. The report was nca2014.globalchange.gov extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the 13 Federal agencies of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the Federal Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability. About the HIGHLIGHTS This book presents the major findings and selected highlights from , the third National Climate Climate Change Impacts in the United States Assessment. This Highlights report is organized around the National Climate Assessment’s 12 Report Findings, which take an overarching view of the report is entire report and its 30 chapters. All material in the Highlights drawn from the full report. The Key Messages from each of the 30 report chapters appear in boxes throughout this document. In the lower left corner of each section, icons identify which chapters of the full report were drawn upon for that section. A key to these icons . 1 appears on page Overview booklet is available online. A 20-page Online at: nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights iii

8 CONTENTS Climate Change and the American People ... 2 4 ... OVERVIEW REPORT FINDINGS 12 List of Report Findings ... ... 16 Climate Trends Finding 1 18 Our Changing Climate ... 24 Extreme Weather ... Finding 2 28 Future Climate ... Finding 3 Widespread Impacts ... 32 Finding 4 34 Finding 5 Human Health ... 38 Infrastructure ... Finding 6 Transportation • Energy Urban • Finding 7 Water ... 42 , and Land Use Energy, Water Water Resources • 46 Agriculture ... Finding 8 Indigenous Peoples ... Finding 9 48 Finding 10 Ecosystems ... 50 Forests • Land Use Ecosystems and Biodiversity • and Land Cover Change Biogeochemical Cycles • REGIONS Oceans ... 58 Finding 11 Introduction ... 69 Finding 12 Responses ... 62 Northeast ... 70 Decision Support • • Mitigation Adaptation Southeast & Caribbean ... 72 74 Midwest ... ʻ Great Plains ... 76 Southwest ... 78 80 Northwest ... 82 Alaska ... i & Pacific Islands ... Hawai ʻ 84 86 Rural Communities ... 88 Coasts ... 94 Future National Assessments ... 96 Concluding Thoughts ... Authors and Staff... .. 98 105 Photo Credits ... 107 References ... iv

9 CHAPTER ICONS In the lower left corner of each section, these icons identify which chapters of the full report were drawn upon for that section. Our Changing Climate Northeast Water Resources Southeast and Caribbean Energy Supply and Use Midwest Transportation Great Plains Agriculture Southwest Forests Northwest Ecosystems and Biodiversity Alaska Human Health Hawai‘i and U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands Energy, Water, and Land Use Oceans and Marine Resources Urban Systems and Infrastructure Coastal Zones Indigenous Peoples, Lands, and Resources Decision Support Land Use and Land Cover Change Mitigation Rural Communities Adaptation Appendix 3: Climate Appendix 4: Biogeochemical Cycles Frequently Science Supplement Asked Questions 1

10 CLIMATE CHANGE AND limate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. C Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. So, too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from Phoenix to New York, and Native Peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska. This National Climate Assessment concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country. Americans are noticing changes all around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. People are seeing changes in the length and severity of seasonal allergies, the plant varieties that thrive in their gardens, and the kinds of birds they see in any particular month in their neighborhoods. Other changes are even more dramatic. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Insurance rates are rising in some vulnerable locations, and insurance is no longer available in others. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the spring, last later into the fall, and burn more acreage. In Arctic Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded, and autumn storms now cause more erosion, threatening many communities with relocation. Scientists who study climate change confirm that these observations are consistent with significant changes in Earth’s climatic trends. Long-term, independent records from weather stations, satellites, ocean buoys, tide gauges, and many other data sources all confirm that our nation, like the rest of the world, is warming. Precipitation patterns are changing, sea level is rising, the oceans are becoming more acidic, and the frequency and intensity of some extreme weather events are increasing. Many lines of independent evidence demonstrate that the rapid warming of the past half-century is due primarily to human activities. The observed warming and other climatic changes are triggering wide-ranging impacts in every region of our country and throughout our economy. Some of these changes can be beneficial over the short run, such as a longer growing season in some regions and a longer shipping season on the Great Lakes. But many more are detrimental, largely because our society and its infrastructure were designed for the climate that we have had, not the rapidly changing climate we now have and can expect in the future. In addition, climate change does not occur in isolation. Rather, it is superimposed on other stresses, which combine to create new challenges. This National Climate Assessment collects, integrates, and assesses observations and research from around the country, helping us to see what is actually happening and understand what it means for our lives, 2

11 THE AMERICAN PEOPLE our livelihoods, and our future. The report includes analyses of impacts on seven sectors – human health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests, and ecosystems – and the interactions among sectors at the national level. The report also assesses key impacts on all U.S. regions: Northeast, Southeast and Caribbean, Midwest, Great Plains, Southwest, Northwest, Alaska, Hawai`i and Pacific Islands, as well as the country’s coastal areas, oceans, and marine resources. Over recent decades, climate science has advanced significantly. Increased scrutiny has led to increased certainty that we are now seeing impacts associated with human-induced climate change. With each passing year, the accumulating evidence further expands our understanding and extends the record of observed trends in temperature, precipitation, sea level, ice mass, and many other variables recorded by a variety of measuring systems and analyzed by independent research groups from around the world. It is notable that as these data records have grown longer and climate models have become more comprehensive, earlier predictions have largely been confirmed. The only real surprises have been that some changes, such as sea level rise and Arctic sea ice decline, have outpaced earlier projections. What is new over the last decade is that we know with increasing certainty that climate change is happening now. While scientists continue to refine projections of the future, observations unequivocally show that climate is changing and that the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. These emissions come mainly from burning coal, oil, and gas, with additional contributions from forest clearing and some agricultural practices. Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond, but there is still time to act to limit the amount of change and the extent of damaging impacts. This report documents the changes already observed and those projected for the future. It is important that these findings and response options be shared broadly to inform citizens and communities across our nation. Climate change presents a major challenge for society. This report advances our understanding of that challenge and the need for the American people to prepare for and respond to its far-reaching implications. 3

12 OVERVIEW limate change is already affecting the American people C in far-reaching ways. Certain types of extreme weather events with links to climate change have become more frequent and/or intense, including prolonged periods of heat, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. In addition, warming is causing sea level to rise and glaciers and Arctic sea ice to melt, and oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide. These and other aspects of climate change are disrupting people’s lives and damaging some sectors of our economy. Climate Change: Coal-fired power plants emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide to Present and Future the atmosphere. Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Scientists ing of the past 50 years. The burning of coal, oil, and gas, and engineers from around the world have meticulously and clearing of forests have increased the concentration collected this evidence, using satellites and networks of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than 40% of weather balloons, thermometers, buoys, and other since the Industrial Revolution, and it has been known for observing systems. Evidence of climate change is also almost two centuries that this carbon dioxide traps heat. visible in the observed and measured changes in location Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture and and behavior of species and functioning of ecosystems. other human activities add to the atmospheric burden of Taken together, this evidence tells an unambiguous story: heat-trapping gases. Data show that natural factors like the planet is warming, and over the last half century, this the sun and volcanoes cannot have caused the warming warming has been driven primarily by human activity. observed over the past 50 years. Sensors on satellites have - Multiple lines of independent evidence confirm that hu measured the sun’s output with great accuracy and found - man activities are the primary cause of the global warm no overall increase during the past half century. Large vol - canic eruptions during this pe - Ten Indicators of a Warming World riod, such as Mount Pinatubo in 1991, have exerted a short- influence. In fact, cooling term if not for human activities, global climate would actually have cooled slightly over the past 50 years. The pattern of temperature change through the layers of the atmosphere, - with warming near the sur face and cooling higher up in the stratosphere, further confirms that it is the buildup of heat-trapping gases (also known as “greenhouse gases”) that has caused most of the Earth’s warming over the past These are just some of the indicators measured globally over many decades that show that the half century. Earth’s climate is warming. White arrows indicate increasing trends; black arrows indicate decreasing trends. All the indicators expected to increase in a warming world are increasing, and all those Because human-induced expected to decrease in a warming world are decreasing. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC, based on a warming is superimposed on a ). data updated from Kennedy et al. 2010 4

13 background of natural variations in climate, warming Separating Human and Natural is not uniform over time. Short-term fluctuations in Influences on Climate the long-term upward trend are thus natural and ex - pected. For example, a recent slowing in the rate of surface air temperature rise appears to be related to cyclic changes in the oceans and in the sun’s energy output, as well as a series of small volcanic eruptions and other factors. Nonetheless, global temperatures are still on the rise and are expected to rise further. U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895, and most of this increase has occurred since 1970. The most recent decade was the nation’s and the world’s hottest on record, and - 2012 was the hottest year on record in the conti - nental United States. All U.S. regions have experi The green band shows how global average temperature would have changed enced warming in recent decades, but the extent of over the last century due to natural forces alone, as simulated by climate models. The blue band shows model simulations of the effects of human and warming has not been uniform. In general, tempera - natural forces (including solar and volcanic activity) combined. The black line tures are rising more quickly in the north. Alaskans - shows the actual observed global average temperatures. Only with the inclu have experienced some of the largest increases in sion of human influences can models reproduce the observed temperature temperature between 1970 and the present. People b changes. (Figure source: adapted from Huber and Knutti 2012 ). living in the Southeast have experienced some of the smallest temperature increases over this period. Temperatures are projected to rise another 2°F to 4°F in most areas of the United States over the next few decades. Reductions in some short-lived human-induced emissions that contribute to warming, such as black carbon (soot) and methane, could reduce some of the projected warming over the next couple of decades, because, unlike carbon dioxide, these gases and particles have relatively short atmospheric lifetimes. The amount of warming projected beyond the next few decades is directly linked to the cumulative global emissions of heat-trapping gases and particles. By the end of this century, a roughly 3°F to 5°F rise is projected under a lower emis - sions scenario, which would require substantial reductions in emissions (referred to as the “B1 scenario”), and a 5°F to 10°F rise for a higher emissions scenario assuming continued increases in emissions, predominantly from fossil fuel com - - bustion (referred to as the “A2 sce nario”). These projections are based Projected Global Temperature Change on results from 16 climate models Different amounts of heat-trapping gases re - that used the two emissions scenarios - leased into the atmosphere by human activi ties produce different projected increases in in a formal inter-model comparison Earth’s temperature. The lines on the graph study. The range of model projections represent a central estimate of global aver - - for each emissions scenario is the re age temperature rise (relative to the 1901- sult of the differences in the ways the 1960 average) for the two main scenarios models represent key factors such as used in this report. A2 assumes continued water vapor, ice and snow reflectivity, - increases in emissions throughout this cen tury, and B1 assumes significant emissions and clouds, which can either dampen reductions, though not due explicitly to cli - or amplify the initial effect of human mate change policies. Shading indicates the influences on temperature. The net th th range (5 to 95 percentile) of results from effect of these feedbacks is expected a suite of climate models. In both cases, - to amplify warming. More informa temperatures are expected to rise, although tion about the models and scenarios the difference between lower and higher emissions pathways is substantial. (Figure used in this report can be found in 1 source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). Appendix 5 of the full report. 5

14 OVERVIEW Some impacts that occur in one region ripple beyond that - Prolonged periods of high temperatures and the per region. For example, the dramatic decline of summer sea sistence of high nighttime temperatures have increased in many locations (especially in urban areas) over the past ice in the Arctic – a loss of ice cover roughly equal to half the area of the continental United States – exacerbates half century. High nighttime temperatures have wide - global warming by reducing the reflectivity of Earth’s spread impacts because people, livestock, and wildlife surface and increasing the amount of heat absorbed. get no respite from the heat. In some regions, prolonged Similarly, smoke from wildfires in one location can periods of high temperatures associated with droughts contribute to conditions that lead to larger wildfires and contribute to poor air quality in faraway regions, and evidence suggests that particulate matter can affect longer fire seasons. As expected in a warming climate, recent trends show that extreme heat is becoming more atmospheric properties and therefore weather patterns. Major storms and the higher storm surges exacerbated common, while extreme cold is becoming less common. by sea level rise that hit the Gulf Coast affect the entire Evidence indicates that the human influence on climate country through their cascading effects on oil and gas has already roughly doubled the probability of extreme 5 production and distribution. heat events such as the record-breaking summer heat experienced in 2011 in Texas and Oklahoma. The incidence 2 Water expands as it warms, causing global sea levels to of record-breaking high temperatures is projected to rise. rise; melting of land-based ice also raises sea level by Human-induced climate change means much more than adding water to the oceans. Over the past century, global just hotter weather. Increases in ocean and freshwater average sea level has risen by about 8 inches. Since 1992, temperatures, frost-free days, and heavy downpours the rate of global sea level rise measured by satellites have all been documented. Global sea level has risen, and has been roughly twice the rate observed over the last there have been large reductions in snow-cover extent, century, providing evidence of acceleration. Sea level rise, glaciers, and sea ice. These changes and other climatic changes have affected and will continue to affect human health, water supply, Observed Change in Very Heavy Precipitation agriculture, transportation, energy, coastal areas, and many other sectors of society, with increasingly adverse impacts on the American economy and 3 quality of life. Some of the changes discussed in this report are common to many regions. For example, large increases in heavy precipitation have occurred in the Northeast, Midwest, and Great Plains, where heavy downpours have fre - quently led to runoff that exceeded the capacity of storm drains and levees, and caused flooding events and accel - erated erosion. Other impacts, such as those associated with the rapid thawing of permafrost in Alaska, are unique to a particular U.S. region. Permafrost thawing is causing extensive damage to infrastructure in our nation’s largest 4 state. Percent changes in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (the heaviest 1%) from 1958 to 2012 for each region. There is a clear national trend toward a greater amount of precipitation being concentrated in very heavy events, particularly in the Northeast and c Midwest. (Figure source: updated from Karl et al. 2009 ). 6

15 combined with coastal storms, has increased Shells Dissolve in Acidified Ocean Water the risk of erosion, storm surge damage, and flooding for coastal communities, especially along the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic seaboard, and in Alaska. Coastal infrastructure, including roads, rail lines, energy infrastructure, airports, port facilities, and military bases, are increasingly at risk from sea level rise and damaging storm surges. Sea level is projected to rise by another 1 to 4 feet in this century, although the rise in sea level in specific regions is expected to Pteropods, or “sea butterflies,” are eaten by a variety of marine species ranging from tiny krill to salmon to whales. The photos show what happens to a pteropod’s shell vary from this global average for a number in seawater that is too acidic. On the left is a shell from a live pteropod from a region of reasons. A wider range of scenarios, in the Southern Ocean where acidity is not too high. The shell on the right is from a from 8 inches to more than 6 feet by 2100, pteropod in a region where the water is more acidic. (Figure source: (left) Bednaršek has been used in risk-based analyses in e (right) Nina Bednaršek). et al. 2012 this report. In general, higher emissions scenarios that lead to more warming would oceans. Carbon dioxide interacts with ocean water to be expected to lead to higher amounts of sea level rise. form carbonic acid, increasing the ocean’s acidity. Ocean The stakes are high, as nearly five million Americans and surface waters have become 30% more acidic over the last hundreds of billions of dollars of property are located in 250 years as they have absorbed large amounts of carbon areas that are less than four feet above the local high-tide 6 dioxide from the atmosphere. This ocean acidification level. makes water more corrosive, reducing the capacity of In addition to causing changes in climate, increasing levels marine organisms with shells or skeletons made of calcium of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and carbonate (such as corals, krill, oysters, clams, and crabs) other human activities have a direct effect on the world’s to survive, grow, and reproduce, which in turn will affect 7 the marine food chain. As Oceans Absorb CO 2 Widespread Impacts They Become More Acidic Impacts related to climate change are already evident in many regions and sectors and are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond. Climate changes interact with other environmental and societal factors in ways that can either moderate or intensify these impacts. Some climate changes currently have beneficial effects for specific sectors or regions. For example, current benefits of warming include longer growing seasons for agriculture and longer ice-free periods for shipping on the Great Lakes. At the same time, however, longer growing seasons, along with higher temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, can increase pollen production, intensifying and lengthening The correlation between rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (red) with the allergy season. Longer ice-free periods rising carbon dioxide levels (blue) and falling pH in the ocean (green). As carbon dioxide accumulates in the ocean, the water becomes more acidic (the pH declines). on the Great Lakes can result in more lake- d (Figure source: modified from Feely et al. 2009 ). effect snowfalls. 7

16 OVERVIEW Observed and projected climate change impacts vary across the regions of the United States. Selected impacts emphasized in the regional chapters are shown below, and many more are explored in detail in this report. Communities are affected by heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, and Northeast coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge. Southeast Decreased water availability, exacerbated by population growth and land-use change, causes increased competition for water. There are increased risks associated with and extreme events such as hurricanes. Caribbean Longer growing seasons and rising carbon dioxide levels increase yields of some crops, although these benefits have already been offset in some instances by occurrence of Midwest extreme events such as heat waves, droughts, and floods. Rising temperatures lead to increased demand for water and energy and impacts on Great Plains agricultural practices. Drought and increased warming foster wildfires and increased competition for scarce Southwest water resources for people and ecosystems. Changes in the timing of streamflow related to earlier snowmelt reduce the supply of water in summer, causing far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic consequences. Northwest Rapidly receding summer sea ice, shrinking glaciers, and thawing permafrost cause damage to infrastructure and major changes to ecosystems. Impacts to Alaska Native Alaska communities increase. Hawai‘i Increasingly constrained freshwater supplies, coupled with increased temperatures, and Pacific stress both people and ecosystems and decrease food and water security. Islands Coastal lifelines, such as water supply infrastructure and evacuation routes, are increasingly vulnerable to higher sea levels and storm surges, inland flooding, and Coasts other climate-related changes. The oceans are currently absorbing about a quarter of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and over 90% of the heat associated with global Oceans warming, leading to ocean acidification and the alteration of marine ecosystems. 8

17 Sectors affected by climate changes include agriculture, water, human health, energy, transportation, forests, and ecosystems. Climate change poses a major challenge to U.S. agriculture because of the critical dependence of agricultural systems on climate. Climate change has the potential to both positively and negatively affect the location, timing, and productivity of crop, livestock, and fishery systems at local, national, and global scales. The United States produces nearly $330 billion per year in agricultural commodities. This productivity is vulnerable to direct impacts on crops and livestock from changing - Climate change can exacerbate respiratory and asthma-relat climate conditions and extreme weather events and indi - ed conditions through increases in pollen, ground-level ozone, rect impacts through increasing pressures from pests and and wildfire smoke. pathogens. Climate change will also alter the stability of Sea level rise, storms and storm surges, and changes in food supplies and create new food security challenges for surface and groundwater use patterns are expected to the United States as the world seeks to feed nine billion compromise the sustainability of people by 2050. While the agriculture coastal freshwater aquifers and sector has proven to be adaptable to wetlands. In most U.S. regions, water a range of stresses, as evidenced by Certain groups of people are resources managers and planners will continued growth in production and more vulnerable to the range encounter new risks, vulnerabilities, efficiency across the United States, of climate change related and opportunities that may not be climate change poses a new set of health impacts, including the 8 properly managed with existing challenges. elderly, children, the poor, 9 and the sick. practices. Water quality and quantity are being Climate change affects human health affected by climate change. Changes in many ways. For example, increasingly frequent and in precipitation and runoff, combined with changes in intense heat events lead to more heat-related illnesses and consumption and withdrawal, have reduced surface deaths and, over time, worsen drought and wildfire risks, and groundwater supplies in many areas. These trends and intensify air pollution. Increasingly frequent extreme are expected to continue, increasing the likelihood of precipitation and associated flooding can lead to injuries water shortages for many uses. Water quality is also and increases in waterborne disease. Rising sea surface diminishing in many areas, particularly due to sediment temperatures have been linked with increasing levels and contaminant concentrations after heavy downpours. and ranges of diseases. Rising sea levels intensify coastal flooding and storm surge, and thus exacerbate threats to public safety during storms. Certain groups of people are more vulnerable to the range of climate change related health impacts, including the elderly, children, the poor, and the sick. Others are vulnerable because of where they live, including those in floodplains, coastal zones, and some urban areas. Improving and properly supporting the public health infrastructure will be critical to managing the 10 potential health impacts of climate change. Climate change also affects the living world, including people, through changes in ecosystems and biodiversity. Ecosystems provide a rich array of benefits and services to humanity, including habitat for fish and wildlife, drinking Increasing air and water temperatures, more intense precipita - water storage and filtration, fertile soils for growing crops, tion and runoff, and intensifying droughts can decrease water buffering against a range of stressors including climate quality in many ways. Here, middle school students in Colorado change impacts, and aesthetic and cultural values. These test water quality. 9

18 OVERVIEW benefits are not always easy to quantify, but they support gases and particles mean less future warming and less- - jobs, economic growth, health, and human well-being. Cli severe impacts; higher emissions mean more warming and mate change driven disruptions to ecosystems have direct more severe impacts. Efforts to limit emissions or increase and indirect human impacts, including reduced water sup - carbon uptake fall into a category of response options ply and quality, the loss of iconic species and landscapes, known as “mitigation,” which refers to reducing the effects on food chains and the timing and success of amount and speed of future climate change by reducing species migrations, and the potential for extreme weather emissions of heat-trapping gases or removing carbon 13 and climate events to destroy or degrade the ability of dioxide from the atmosphere. 11 ecosystems to provide societal benefits. The other major category of response options is known Human modifications of ecosystems and landscapes often as “adaptation,” and refers to actions to prepare for and increase their vulnerability to damage from extreme adjust to new conditions, thereby reducing harm or taking - weather events, while simultaneously reducing their nat advantage of new opportunities. Mitigation and adap - ural capacity to moderate the impacts of such events. For tation actions are linked in multiple ways, including that example, salt marshes, reefs, mangrove forests, and barri - effective mitigation reduces the need for adaptation in er islands defend coastal ecosystems the future. Both are essential parts and infrastructure, such as roads and of a comprehensive climate change The amount of future climate buildings, against storm surges. The response strategy. The threat of irre - change will still largely be loss of these natural buffers due to versible impacts makes the timing of determined by choices society coastal development, erosion, and mitigation efforts particularly criti - makes about emissions. sea level rise increases the risk of cal. This report includes chapters on catastrophic damage during or after Mitigation, Adaptation, and Decision extreme weather events. Although Support that offer an overview of floodplain wetlands are greatly reduced from their his - the options and activities being planned or implement - torical extent, those that remain still absorb floodwaters ed around the country as local, state, federal, and tribal and reduce the effects of high flows on river-margin lands. governments, as well as businesses, organizations, and Extreme weather events that produce sudden increases individuals begin to respond to climate change. These in water flow, often carrying debris and pollutants, can chapters conclude that while response actions are under decrease the natural capacity of ecosystems to cleanse - development, current implementation efforts are insuffi 12 contaminants. cient to avoid increasingly negative social, environmental, 14 and economic consequences. The climate change impacts being felt in the regions and - Large reductions in global emissions of heat-trapping gas sectors of the United States are affected by global trends es, similar to the lower emissions scenario (B1) analyzed and economic decisions. In an increasingly interconnect - in this assessment, would reduce the risks of some of the ed world, U.S. vulnerability is linked to impacts in other damaging impacts of climate change. Some targets called nations. It is thus difficult to fully evaluate the impacts of - for in international climate negotiations to date would re climate change on the United States without considering quire even larger reductions than those outlined in the B1 consequences of climate change elsewhere. scenario. Meanwhile, global emissions are still rising and Response Options are on a path to be even higher than the high emissions As the impacts of climate change are becoming more scenario (A2) analyzed in this report. The recent U.S. con - prevalent, Americans face choices. Especially because of tribution to annual global emissions is about 18%, but the past emissions of long-lived heat-trapping gases, some U.S. contribution to cumulative global emissions over the additional climate change and related impacts are now last century is much higher. Carbon dioxide lasts for a long unavoidable. This is due to the long-lived nature of many time in the atmosphere, and it is the cumulative carbon of these gases, as well as the amount of heat absorbed emissions that determine the amount of global climate emissions and retained by the oceans and other responses within After decades of increases, U.S. CO change. 2 from energy use (which account for 97% of total U.S. emis - the climate system. The amount of future climate change, sions) declined by around 9% between 2008 and 2012, however, will still largely be determined by choices society -intensive nat - largely due to a shift from coal to less CO makes about emissions. Lower emissions of heat-trapping 2 10

19 ural gas for electricity production. Governmental actions ty planning and “top down” national strategies may help in city, state, regional, and federal programs to promote regions deal with impacts such as increases in electrical 17 energy efficiency have also contributed to reducing U.S. brownouts, heat stress, floods, and wildfires. carbon emissions. Many, if not most of these programs are Proactively preparing for climate change can reduce - motivated by other policy objectives, but some are direct impacts while also facilitating a more rapid and efficient ed specifically at greenhouse gas emissions. These U.S. response to changes as they happen. Such efforts are actions and others that might be undertaken in the future beginning at the federal, regional, state, tribal, and local are described in the Mitigation chapter of this report. Over levels, and in the corporate and non-governmental the remainder of this century, aggressive and sustained sectors, to build adaptive capacity and resilience to greenhouse gas emission reductions by the United States climate change impacts. Using scientific information and by other nations would be needed to reduce global to prepare for climate changes in advance can provide emissions to a level consistent with the lower scenario (B1) 15 economic opportunities, and proactively managing the analyzed in this assessment. 18 risks can reduce impacts and costs over time. With regard to adaptation, the pace and magnitude of There are a number of areas where improved scientific observed and projected changes emphasize the need to information or understanding would enhance the capacity be prepared for a wide variety and intensity of impacts. to estimate future climate change impacts. For example, Because of the growing influence of human activities, the knowledge of the mechanisms controlling the rate of climate of the past is not a good basis for future planning. ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica is limited, making it For example, building codes and landscaping ordinances difficult for scientists to narrow the range of expected could be updated to improve energy efficiency, conserve future sea level rise. Improved understanding of ecological water supplies, protect against insects that spread disease and social responses to climate change is needed, as is (such as dengue fever), reduce susceptibility to heat stress, understanding of how ecological and social responses will and improve protection against extreme events. The fact 19 interact. that climate change impacts are increasing points to the urgent need to develop and refine approaches that enable A sustained climate assessment process could more decision-making and increase flexibility and resilience in efficiently collect and synthesize the rapidly evolving the face of ongoing and future impacts. Reducing non-cli - science and help supply timely and relevant information mate-related stresses that contribute to existing vulnera - to decision-makers. Results from all of these efforts could bilities can also be an effective approach to climate change 16 continue to deepen our understanding of the interactions adaptation. - of human and natural systems in the context of a chang - Adaptation can involve considering local, state, region ing climate, enabling society to effectively respond and 20 al, national, and international jurisdictional objectives. prepare for our future. For example, in managing water supplies to adapt to a The cumulative weight of the scientific evidence contained changing climate, the implications of international treaties in this report confirms that climate change is affecting should be considered in the context of managing the Great the American people now, and that choices we make will Lakes, the Columbia River, and the Colorado River to deal affect our future and that of future generations. with increased drought risk. Both “bottom up” communi - Cities providing transportation options including bike lanes, buildings designed with energy saving features such as green roofs, and houses elevated to allow storm surges to pass underneath are among the many response options being pursued around the country. 11

20 REPORT FINDINGS These findings distill important results that arise from this National Climate Assessment. They do not represent a full summary of all of the chapters’ findings, but rather a synthesis of particularly noteworthy conclusions. 1. Global climate is changing and this is apparent across the United States in a wide range of observations. The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels. Many independent lines of evidence confirm that human activities are affecting climate in unprecedented ways. U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since record keeping began in 1895; most of this increase has occurred since about 1970. The most recent decade was the warmest on record. Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, rising temperatures are not evenly distributed across the country or 21 See page 18. over time. 2. Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades, and new and stronger evidence confirms that some of these increases are related to human activities. Changes in extreme weather events are the primary way that most people experience climate change. Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of some of these extreme events. Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, and 22 See page 24. in some regions, more severe droughts. 3. Human-induced climate change is projected to continue, and it will accelerate significantly if global emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase. Heat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere have committed us to a hotter future with more climate-related impacts over the next few decades. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases that 23 See page 28. human activities emit globally, now and in the future. 4. Impacts related to climate change are already evident in many sectors and are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond. Climate change is already affecting societies and the natural world. Climate change interacts with other environmental and societal factors in ways that can either moderate or intensify these impacts. The types and magnitudes of impacts vary across the nation and through time. Children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor are especially vulnerable. There is mounting evidence that harm to the nation will increase substantially in the future unless 24 See page 32. global emissions of heat-trapping gases are greatly reduced. 12

21 5. Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including through more extreme weather events and wildfire, decreased air quality, and diseases transmitted by insects, food, and water. Climate change is increasing the risks of heat stress, respiratory stress from poor air quality, and the spread of waterborne diseases. Extreme weather events often lead to fatalities and a variety of health impacts on vulnerable populations, including impacts on mental health, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Large-scale changes in the environment due to climate change and extreme weather events are increasing the risk of the emergence or reemergence of health threats that are currently uncommon in the United States, such as 25 See page 34. dengue fever. 6. Infrastructure is being damaged by sea level rise, heavy downpours, and extreme heat; damages are projected to increase with continued climate change. Sea level rise, storm surge, and heavy downpours, in combination with the pattern of continued development in coastal areas, are increasing damage to U.S. infrastructure including roads, buildings, and industrial facilities, and are also increasing risks to ports and coastal military installations. Flooding along rivers, lakes, and in cities following heavy downpours, prolonged rains, and rapid melting of snowpack is exceeding the limits of flood protection infrastructure designed for historical conditions. Extreme heat is damaging transportation infrastructure such 26 See page 38. as roads, rail lines, and airport runways. 7. Water quality and water supply reliability are jeopardized by climate change in a variety of ways that affect ecosystems and livelihoods. Surface and groundwater supplies in some regions are already stressed by increasing demand for water as well as declining runoff and groundwater recharge. In some regions, particularly the southern part of the country and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, climate change is increasing the likelihood of water shortages and competition for water among its many uses. Water quality is diminishing in many areas, particularly due to increasing sediment and 27 See page 42. contaminant concentrations after heavy downpours. 8. Climate disruptions to agriculture have been increasing and are projected to become more severe over this century. Some areas are already experiencing climate-related disruptions, particularly due to extreme weather events. While some U.S. regions and some types of agricultural production will be relatively resilient to climate change over the next 25 years or so, others will increasingly suffer from stresses due to extreme heat, drought, disease, and heavy downpours. From mid-century on, climate change is projected to have more negative impacts on crops and livestock across 28 See page 46. the country – a trend that could diminish the security of our food supply. 13

22 REPORT FINDINGS 9. Climate change poses particular threats to Indigenous Peoples’ health, well- being, and ways of life. Chronic stresses such as extreme poverty are being exacerbated by climate change impacts such as reduced access to traditional foods, decreased water quality, and increasing exposure to health and safety hazards. In parts of Alaska, Louisiana, the Pacific Islands, and other coastal locations, climate change impacts (through erosion and inundation) are so severe that some communities are already relocating from historical homelands to which their traditions and cultural identities are tied. Particularly in Alaska, the rapid pace of temperature rise, ice and snow melt, and permafrost thaw are significantly affecting critical infrastructure and 29 See page 48. traditional livelihoods. 10. Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being affected by climate change. The capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts of extreme events like fires, floods, and severe storms is being overwhelmed. Climate change impacts on biodiversity are already being observed in alteration of the timing of critical biological events such as spring bud burst and substantial range shifts of many species. In the longer term, there is an increased risk of species extinction. These changes have social, cultural, and economic effects. Events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and pest outbreaks associated with climate change (for example, bark beetles in the West) are already disrupting ecosystems. These changes limit the capacity of ecosystems, such as forests, barrier beaches, and wetlands, to continue to play important roles in reducing the impacts of these extreme events on infrastructure, human communities, and other valued 30 See page 50. resources. 11. Ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, broadly affecting ocean circulation, chemistry, ecosystems, and marine life. More acidic waters inhibit the formation of shells, skeletons, and coral reefs. Warmer waters harm coral reefs and alter the distribution, abundance, and productivity of many marine species. The rising temperature and changing chemistry of ocean water combine with other stresses, such as overfishing and coastal and marine pollution, to alter marine-based food 31 See page 58. production and harm fishing communities. 12. Planning for adaptation (to address and prepare for impacts) and mitigation (to reduce future climate change, for example by cutting emissions) is becoming more widespread, but current implementation efforts are insufficient to avoid increasingly negative social, environmental, and economic consequences. Actions to reduce emissions, increase carbon uptake, adapt to a changing climate, and increase resilience to impacts that are unavoidable can improve public health, economic 32 See page 62. development, ecosystem protection, and quality of life. 14

23 SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR THE REPORT FINDINGS Icons at the lower left corner of each report finding indicate the chapters drawn on for that section. 15

24 CLIMATE TRENDS These two pages present the Key Messages from the “Our Changing Climate” chapter of the full report. They pertain to Report Findings 1, 2, and 3, evidence for which appears on the following pages. Global climate is changing and this change is apparent across a wide range of observations. The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities. Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions. Temperature U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since record keeping began in 1895; most of this increase has occurred since about 1970. The most recent decade was the nation’s warmest on record. Temperatures in the United States are expected to continue to rise. Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time. Extreme Weather There have been changes in some types of extreme weather events over the last several decades. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, especially in the West. Cold waves have become less frequent and intense across the nation. There have been regional trends in floods and droughts. Droughts in the Southwest and heat waves everywhere are projected to become more intense, and cold waves less intense everywhere. Hurricanes The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. The relative contributions of human and natural causes to these increases are still uncertain. Hurricane-associated storm FPO intensity and rainfall rates are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm. Severe Storms Winter storms have increased in frequency and intensity since the 1950s, and their tracks have shifted northward over the United States. Other trends in severe storms, including the intensity and frequency of tornadoes, hail, and damaging thunderstorm winds, are uncertain and are being studied intensively. 16

25 Precipitation Average U.S. precipitation has increased since 1900, but some areas have had increases greater than the national average, and some areas have had decreases. More winter and spring precipitation is projected for the northern United States, and less for the Southwest, over this century. FPO Heavy Downpours Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades. Largest increases are in the Midwest and Northeast. Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events are projected for all U.S. regions. Frost-free Season The length of the frost-free season (and the corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture. Across the United States, the growing season is projected to continue to lengthen. Ice Melt Rising temperatures are reducing ice volume and surface extent on land, lakes, and sea. This loss of ice is expected to continue. The Arctic Ocean is expected to become essentially ice free in summer before mid-century. Sea Level Global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise FPO another 1 to 4 feet by 2100. Ocean Acidification The oceans are currently absorbing about a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually and are becoming more acidic as a result, leading to concerns about intensifying impacts on marine ecosystems. See page 60. 17

26 FINDING OUR CHANGING CLIMATE 1 Global climate is changing and this is apparent across a wide range of observations. Temperature Change by Decade vidence for changes in Earth’s climate can E be found from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Researchers from around the world have compiled this evidence using satellites, weather balloons, thermometers at surface stations, and many - other types of observing systems that moni tor the Earth’s weather and climate. The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming. Temperatures at Earth’s surface, in the tropo - sphere (the active weather layer extending up to about 5 to 10 miles above the ground), and in the oceans have all increased over recent - decades. The largest increases in tempera - ture are occurring closer to the poles, espe cially in the Arctic. This warming has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate. - The last five decades have seen a progressive rise in the Earth’s average surface tem Snow and ice cover have decreased in most perature. Bars show the difference between each decade’s average temperature and the overall average for 1901-2000. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC). areas. Atmospheric water vapor is increasing in the lower atmosphere because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water. Sea level is increasing the observed changes in average conditions have been because water expands as it warms and because melting accompanied by increasing trends in extremes of heat ice on land adds water to the oceans. Changes in other and heavy precipitation events, and decreases in extreme climate-relevant indicators such as growing season cold. It is the sum total of these indicators that leads to the length have been observed in many areas. Worldwide, conclusion that warming of our planet is unequivocal. Global Temperature and Carbon Dioxide Global annual average temperature (as measured over both land and oceans) has increased by more than 1.5°F (0.8°C) since 1880 (through 2012). Red bars show temperatures above the long-term average, and blue bars indicate temperatures below the long-term average. The black line shows atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO ) concentration in parts per million (ppm). While 2 there is a clear long-term global warming trend, some years do not show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others. These year- to-year fluctuations in temperature are due to natural processes, such as the effects of El Niños, La Niñas, and volcanic eruptions. 1 ). (Figure source: updated from Karl et al. 2009 18

27 Sea ice in the Arctic has de - Arctic Sea Ice Decline creased dramatically since the satellite record began in 1978. Minimum Arctic sea ice extent (which occurs in early to mid-September) has decreased by more 2 This decline than 40%. is unprecedented in the historical record, and the reduction of ice volume and thickness is even greater. Ice thickness decreased by more than 50% from 1958- The retreat of sea ice has occurred faster than climate models had predicted. Image on left shows Arctic 3 minimum sea ice extent in 1984, which was about 2.59 million square miles, the average minimum extent The 1976 to 2003-2008. for 1979-2000. Image on right shows that the extent of sea ice had dropped to 1.32 million square miles at percentage of the March ice the end of summer 2012. The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice increases warming and has many other im - cover made up of thicker ice pacts on the region. Marine mammals including polar bears and many seal species depend on sea ice for - (ice that has survived a sum nearly all aspects of their existence. Alaska Native coastal communities rely on sea ice for many reasons, mer melt season) decreased including its role as a buffer against coastal erosion from storms and as a platform for hunting. (Figure 8 from 75% in the mid-1980s ). source: NASA Earth Observatory 2012 4 to 45% in 2011. Ice loss increases Arctic warming by replacing white, reflective ice with dark water that absorbs more energy Ice Loss from the Two Polar Ice Sheets from the sun. More open water can also increase snowfall 5 and increase the north-south over northern land areas meanders of the jet stream, consistent with the occur - rence of unusually cold and snowy winters at mid-latitudes 5,6 Significant uncertainties remain in several recent years. in interpreting the effect of Arctic ice changes on mid-lati - 7 tude weather patterns. In addition to the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice, rising temperatures are reducing the volume and surface extent of ice on land and lakes. Snow cover on land has also decreased over the past several decades, especially in late spring. Satellite measurements show that both Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice as the atmosphere and oceans warm. Melting of the polar ice sheets and glaciers on land add water to the oceans and raise sea level. How fast these two polar ice sheets melt will largely determine how quickly sea level rises. (Figure source: adapted from Wouters et 9 The ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass, al. 2013 ). adding to global sea level rise. 19

28 Finding 1: OUR CHANGING CLIMATE Climate in the United States Observed U.S. Temperature Change is changing. U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since record keeping began in 1895; most of this increase has occurred since about 1970. The most recent decade was the nation’s warmest on record. Because human-induced warming is super - imposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time. While surface air temperature is the most widely cited measure of climate change, other aspects of climate that are The colors on the map show temperature changes over the past 22 years (1991-2012) affected by temperature are often more compared to the 1901-1960 average for the contiguous U.S., and to the 1951-1980 aver - directly relevant to both human society age for Alaska and Hawai‘i. The bars on the graph show the average temperature changes and the natural environment. Examples for the U.S. by decade for 1901-2012 (relative to the 1901-1960 average). The far right bar include shorter duration of ice on lakes (2000s decade) includes 2011 and 2012. The period from 2001 to 2012 was warmer than and rivers, reduced glacier extent, earlier any previous decade in every region. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). melting of snowpack, reduced lake levels A longer growing season provides a longer period for due to increased evaporation, lengthening of the growing plant growth and productivity and can slow the increase season, changes in plant hardiness zones, increased concentrations through increased CO in atmospheric CO humidity, rising ocean temperatures, rising sea level, and 2 2 10 The longer uptake by living things and their environment. changes in some types of extreme weather. growing season can increase the growth of beneficial plants (such as crops and forests) as well as undesirable ones (such Taken as a whole, these changes provide compelling 11 In some cases where moisture is limited, as ragweed). evidence that increasing temperatures are affecting both the greater evaporation and loss of moisture through plant ecosystems and human society. transpiration (release of water from plant leaves) associated with a longer growing season can mean less productivity 12 and earlier and longer fire because of increased drying seasons. On the left is a photograph of Muir Glacier in Alaska taken on August 13, 1941; on the right, a photograph taken from the same vantage point on August 31, 2004. Total glacial mass has declined sharply around the globe, adding to sea level rise. (Left photo by glaciologist William O. Field; right photo by geologist Bruce F. Molnia of the United States Geological Survey.) 20

29 Increased frost-free season length, especially in Observed Increases in Frost-Free Season already hot and moisture-stressed regions like the Southwest, can lead to further heat stress on plants - and increased water demands for crops. Higher tem peratures and fewer frost-free days during winter can lead to early bud burst or bloom of some perennial plants, resulting in frost damage when cold conditions occur in late spring. In addition, with higher winter temperatures, some agricultural pests can persist year-round, and new pests and diseases may become 13 established. The lengthening of the frost-free season has been somewhat greater in the western U.S. than the eastern 1 increasing by 2 to 3 weeks in the Northwest U.S., and Southwest, 1 to 2 weeks in the Midwest, Great Plains, and Northeast, and slightly less than 1 week The frost-free season length, defined as the period between the last in the Southeast. These differences mirror the overall occurrence of 32°F in the spring and the first occurrence of 32°F in trend of more warming in the north and west and less the fall, has increased in each U.S. region during 1991-2012 relative warming in the Southeast. to 1901-1960. Increases in frost-free season length correspond to similar increases in growing season length. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). Average annual precipitation over the U.S. has in - - creased in recent decades, although there are import ant regional differences. For example, precipitation since 1991 (relative to 1901-1960) increased the most in the Northeast (8%), Midwest (9%), and southern Great Plains (8%), while much of the Southeast and Southwest had a mix of areas of increases and decreases. Observed U.S. Precipitation Change The colors on the map show annual total precipitation changes for 1991-2012 compared to the 1901-1960 - average, and show wetter conditions in most areas. The bars on the graph show average precipitation dif ferences by decade for 1901-2012 (relative to the 1901-1960 average). The far right bar is for 2001-2012. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). 21

30 Finding 1: OUR CHANGING CLIMATE The global warming of the past 50 years 2000 Years of is primarily due to human activities, Heat-Trapping Gas Levels predominantly the burning of fossil fuels. Climate has changed naturally throughout Earth’s history. However, natural factors cannot explain the recent ob - served warming. In the past, climate change was driven exclusively by natural factors: explosive volcanic eruptions that injected reflective particles into the upper atmosphere, changes in energy from the sun, periodic variations in the Earth’s orbit, natural cycles that transfer heat between the ocean and the atmosphere, and slowly changing natural variations in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Increases in concentrations of these gases since 1750 are due to All of these natural factors, and their interactions with human activities in the industrial era. Concentrations are parts per each other, have altered global average temperature over - million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb), indicating the number of mol periods ranging from months to thousands of years. For ecules of the greenhouse gas per million or billion molecules of air. example, past glacial periods were initiated by shifts in the 14 (Figure source: Forster et al. 2007 ). Earth’s orbit, and then amplified by resulting decreases in The majority of the warming at the global scale over atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and subsequently by the past 50 years can only be explained by the effects greater reflection of the sun’s energy by ice and snow as the of human influences, especially the emissions from Earth’s climate system responded to a cooler climate. burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and from deforestation. Natural factors are still affecting the planet’s climate today. The difference is that, since the beginning of the Industrial The emissions from human influences affecting Revolution, humans have been increasingly affecting global climate include heat-trapping gases such as carbon climate, to the point where we are now the primary cause - ), methane, and nitrous oxide, and parti dioxide (CO of recent and projected future change. 2 cles such as black carbon (soot), which has a warming Carbon Emissions in the Industrial Age influence, and sulfates, which have an overall cooling influence. In addition to human-induced global climate change, local climate can also be affected by other human factors (such as crop irrigation) and natural variability. Carbon dioxide has been building up in the atmo - sphere since the beginning of the industrial era in the mid-1700s, primarily due to burning coal, oil, and - gas, and secondarily due to clearing of forests. Atmo spheric levels have increased by about 40% relative to pre-industrial levels. Methane levels in the atmosphere have increased due - to human activities including agriculture (with live Carbon emissions from burning coal, oil, and gas and producing cement, stock producing methane in their digestive tracts and in units of million metric tons of carbon. These emissions account for rice farming producing it via bacteria that live in the about 80% of the total emissions of carbon from human activities, with land-use changes (like cutting down forests) accounting for the other 20% flooded fields); mining coal, extraction and transport 15 ). in recent decades. (Data from Boden et al. 2012 of natural gas, and other fossil fuel-related activities; 22

31 and waste disposal including sewage and decomposing garbage in landfills. Since pre-industrial times, methane levels have increased by 250%. Other heat-trapping gases produced by human activities include nitrous oxide, halocarbons, and ozone. Nitrous oxide levels are increasing, primarily as a result of fertilizer use and fossil fuel burning. The concentration of nitrous oxide has increased by about 20% relative to pre-industrial times. The conclusion that human influences are the primary driver of recent climate change is based on multiple lines The first line of evidence is our of independent evidence. fundamental understanding of how certain gases trap heat, how the climate system responds to increases in these gases, and how other human and natural factors influence climate. The second line of evidence is from Oil used for transportation and coal used for electricity genera - reconstructions of past climates using evidence such as tion are the largest contributors to the rise in carbon dioxide that is the primary driver of recent climate change. tree rings, ice cores, and corals. These show that global surface temperatures over the last several decades are clearly unusual, with the last decade (2000-2009) warmer Measurements of Surface Temperature than any time in at least the last 1,300 years and perhaps and Sun’s Energy much longer. The third line of evidence comes from using climate mod - els to simulate the climate of the past century, separating the human and natural factors that influence climate. When the human factors are removed, these models show that solar and volcanic activity would have tended to slightly cool the earth, and other natural variations are too small to explain the amount of warming. Only when the human influences are included do the models reproduce the warming observed over the past 50 years. Another line of evidence involves so-called “fingerprint” studies that are able to attribute observed climate changes to particular causes. For example, the fact that the strato - sphere (the layer above the troposphere) is cooling while the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere are warming is a fingerprint that the warming is due to increases in heat-trapping gases. In contrast, if the observed warming had been due to increases in solar output, Earth’s atmo - The full record of satellite measurements of the sun’s energy sphere would have warmed throughout its entire extent, received at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere is shown in red, - including the stratosphere. In addition to such tempera following its natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs, without ture analyses, scientific attribution of observed changes any net increase. Over the same period, global temperature relative to human influence extends to many other aspects to 1961-1990 average (shown in blue) has risen markedly. This is a clear indication that changes in the sun are not responsible for of climate, such as changing patterns in precipitation, the observed warming over recent decades. (Figure source: NOAA increasing humidity, changes in pressure, and increasing NCDC / CICS-NC). ocean heat content. 23

32 FINDING EXTREME WEATHER 2 Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades, and new and stronger evidence confirms that some of these increases are related to human activities. s the world has warmed, that warming has triggered A Coast-to-Coast many other changes to the Earth’s climate. Changes in 100-degree Days in 2011 extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves and droughts, are the primary way that most people experience climate change. Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of some of these extreme events. Over the last 50 years, much of the U.S. has seen increases in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, heavy downpours, and in some regions, severe floods and droughts. Heat Waves Heat waves are periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks. The number of heat waves has been increasing in recent years. This trend has continued in 2011 and 2012, with the number of intense heat waves being almost triple the long-term average. The recent heat waves and droughts in Texas (2011) and the Midwest (2012) set records for highest monthly average Map shows numbers of days with temperatures above 100°F during - 2011. Black circles denote the location of observing stations record temperatures. Analyses show that human-induced ing at least one such day. The number of days with temperatures climate change has generally increased the probability exceeding 100°F is expected to increase. The record temperatures 1 And prolonged (multi-month) extreme of heat waves. and drought during the summer of 2011 represent conditions that heat has been unprecedented since the start of reliable will occur more frequently in the U.S. as climate change continues. instrumental records in 1895. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC). Drought Higher temperatures Texas Summer 2011: Record Heat and Drought lead to increased rates of evaporation, - Dots show the average summer tem including more loss of perature and total rainfall in Texas for moisture through plant each year from 1919 to 2012. Red dots leaves. Even in areas illustrate the range of temperatures and where precipitation rainfall observed over time. The record temperatures and drought during the does not decrease, - summer of 2011 (large red dot) repre these increases in sent conditions far outside those that surface evaporation have occurred since the instrumental and loss of water from 2 record began. An analysis has shown plants lead to more that the probability of such an event rapid drying of soils if has more than doubled as a result of 3 (Fig - human-induced climate change. the effects of higher ure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). temperatures are not 24

33 offset by other changes (such as reduced Widespread Drought in 2012 4 As wind speed or increased humidity). soil dries out, a larger proportion of the incoming heat from the sun goes into heating the soil and adjacent air rather than evaporating its moisture, resulting in hotter 5 summers under drier climatic conditions. An example of recent drought occurred in 2011, when many locations in Texas and Oklahoma experienced more than 100 days over 100°F. Both states set new records for the hottest summer since record keeping began in 1895. Rates of water loss, due in part to evaporation, were double the long-term average. The heat and drought depleted water resources and contributed to more than $10 billion in direct losses to agriculture alone. Heavy Downpours Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five Droughts in recent years have been widespread. The map above shows the extent of drought in mid August 2012. The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partner - decades. The heaviest rainfall events have - ship between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebras become heavier and more frequent, and ka-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic the amount of rain falling on the heaviest and Atmospheric Administration. (Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL). rain days has also increased. Since 1991, the amount of rain falling in very heavy precipitation events has been significantly Observed U.S. Trends in above average. This increase has been Heavy Precipitation greatest in the Northeast, Midwest, and upper Great Plains – more than 30% above the 1901-1960 average. There has also been an increase in flooding events in the Midwest and Northeast, where the largest increases in heavy rain amounts have occurred. The mechanism driving these changes is well understood. Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact 6 increased due to human-caused warming. This extra moisture is available to storm systems, resulting in heavier rainfalls. One measure of heavy precipitation events is a two-day precipitation total that is Climate change also alters characteristics exceeded on average only once in a 5-year period, also known as the once-in-five- of the atmosphere that affect weather year event. As this extreme precipitation index for 1901-2012 shows, the occurrence patterns and storms. of such events has become much more common in recent decades. Changes are compared to the period 1901-1960, and do not include Alaska or Hawai‘i. (Figure 7 ). source: adapted from Kunkel et al. 2013 25

34 Finding 2: EXTREME WEATHER Floods lood M ajor F ypes T Flooding may intensify in many U.S. regions, even in areas where All flood types are affected by climate-related factors, some more than others. total precipitation is projected to decline. A flood is defined as any occur in small and steep watersheds and waterways and can Flash floods be caused by short-duration intense precipitation, dam or levee failure, or high flow, overflow, or inundation collapse of debris and ice jams. Most flood-related deaths in the U.S. are by water that causes or threatens 8 associated with flash floods. Floods are caused or damage. Urban flooding can be caused by short-duration very heavy precipitation. amplified by both weather- and Urbanization creates large areas of impervious surfaces (such as roads, human-related factors. Major pavement, parking lots, and buildings) that increased immediate runoff, and weather factors include heavy or heavy downpours can exceed the capacity of storm drains and cause urban prolonged precipitation, snowmelt, flooding. thunderstorms, storm surges from Flash floods and urban flooding are directly linked to heavy precipitation and hurricanes, and ice or debris jams. are expected to increase as a result of increases in heavy precipitation events. Human factors include structural River flooding occurs when surface water drained from a watershed into failures of dams and levees, altered a stream or a river exceeds channel capacity, overflows the banks, and drainage, and land-cover alterations inundates adjacent low lying areas. Riverine flooding depends on precipitation (such as pavement). as well as many other factors, such as existing soil moisture conditions and snowmelt. Increasingly, humanity is also adding Coastal flooding is predominantly caused by storm surges that accompany to weather-related factors, as hurricanes and other storms that push large seawater domes toward the shore. human-induced warming increases Storm surge can cause deaths, widespread infrastructure damage, and severe heavy downpours, causes more beach erosion. Storm-related rainfall can also cause inland flooding and is extensive storm surges due to sea 8 responsible for more than half of the deaths associated with tropical storms. level rise, and leads to more rapid Climate change affects coastal flooding through sea level rise and storm surge, spring snowmelt. and increases in heavy rainfall during storms. 8 over 1981 through 2011. The risks from future floods are Worldwide, from 1980 to 2009, floods caused more significant, given expanded development in coastal areas than 500,000 deaths and affected more than 2.8 billion 9 In the United States, floods caused 4,586 deaths and floodplains, unabated urbanization, land-use changes, people. 10 9 while property and crop damage from 1959 to 2005 and human-induced climate change. averaged nearly 8 billion dollars per year (in 2011 dollars) Trends in Flood Magnitude - There are significant trends in the magni tude of river flooding in many parts of the 11 River flood magnitudes United States. - (from the 1920s through 2008) have de creased in the Southwest and increased in the eastern Great Plains, parts of the Midwest, and from the northern Appa - 12 lachians into New England. The map shows increasing trends in floods in green and decreasing trends in brown. The magnitude of these trends is illus - trated by the size of the triangles. (Figure 12 source: Peterson et al. 2013 ). 26

35 Hurricanes There has been a substantial increase in most measures of Atlantic hurricane activity since the early 1980s, the period 13 during which high quality satellite data are available. These include measures of intensity, frequency, and duration as well as the number of strongest (Category 4 and 5) storms. The recent increases in activity are linked, in part, to higher sea surface temperatures in the region that Atlantic hurricanes form in and move through. Numerous factors have been shown to influence these local sea surface temperatures, including natural variability, human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases, and particulate pollution. Quantifying the relative contributions of natural and human-caused factors is an North Atlantic hurricanes have increased in intensity, frequency, active focus of research. and duration since the early 1980s. Hurricane development, however, is influenced by more than just sea surface temperature. How hurricanes develop also depends on how the local atmosphere responds to changes in local sea surface temperatures, and this atmospheric response depends critically on the 14 For example, the atmosphere cause of the change. responds differently when local sea surface temperatures increase due to a local decrease of particulate pollution that allows more sunlight through to warm the ocean, versus when sea surface temperatures increase more uniformly around the world due to increased amounts of 15 human-caused heat-trapping gases. By late this century, models, on average, project an Storm surges reach farther inland as they ride on top of sea increase in the number of the strongest (Category 4 and levels that are higher due to warming. 5) hurricanes. Models also project greater rainfall rates in hurricanes in a warmer climate, with increases of about 20% averaged near the center of hurricanes. Change in Other Storms Winter storms have increased in frequency and intensity 16 and their tracks have shifted northward since the 1950s, 17 Other trends in severe storms, over the United States. including the intensity and frequency of tornadoes, hail, and damaging thunderstorm winds, are uncertain and are being studied intensively. There has been a sizable upward trend in the number of storms causing large financial and 18 However, there are societal contributions to other losses. 7 this trend, such as increases in population and wealth. Heavy snowfalls during winter storms affect transportation sys - tems and other infrastructure. 27

36 FINDING FUTURE CLIMATE 3 Human-induced climate change is projected to continue, and it will accelerate significantly if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase. eat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere have committed us to a hotter future with more climate-related impacts H over the next few decades. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases that human activities emit globally, now and in the future. Projected Temperature Change Maps show projected change in average surface air temperature in the later part of this century (2071-2099) relative to the later part of the last century (1970-1999) under a scenario that assumes substantial reductions in heat trapping gases (B1, left) and a higher emissions scenario that assumes continued increases in global emissions (A2, right). These scenarios are used throughout this report for assessing impacts under lower and higher emissions. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). Projected Changes in Soil Moisture Increased temperatures and changing precipi - tation patterns will alter soil moisture, which is important for agriculture and ecosystems and has many societal implications. These maps show average change in soil moisture compared to 1971-2000, as projected for late this century (2071-2100) under two emissions scenarios, a 1 lower scenario (B1) and a higher scenario (A2). Eastern U.S. is not displayed because model simulations were only run for the area shown. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). 28

37 Projected Precipitation Change by Season Climate change affects more than just temperature. The location, timing, and amounts of precipitation will also change as temperatures rise. Maps show projected percent change in precipitation in each season for 2071-2099 (compared to the period 1970-1999) under an emissions scenario that assumes continued increases in emissions (A2). Teal indicates precipitation increases, and brown, decreases. Hatched areas indicate that the projected changes are significant and consistent among models. White areas indicate that the changes are not projected to be larger than could be expected from natural variability. In general, the northern part of the U.S. is projected to see more winter and spring precipitation, while the southwestern U.S. is projected to experience less precipitation in the spring. Wet regions are generally projected to become wetter while dry regions become drier. Summer drying is projected for parts of the U.S., including the Northwest and southern Great Plains. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). 29

38 Finding 3: FUTURE CLIMATE Change in Maximum Number of Consecutive Dry Days Map shows change in the number of consecutive dry days (days receiving less than 0.04 inches of precipitation) at the end of this century (2081-2100) relative to the end of last century - (1980-1999) under the highest sce nario considered in this report, RCP 8.5. Stippling indicates areas where changes are consistent among at least 80% of the 25 models used in this analysis. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). Sea level rise Global sea level has risen about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 4 - feet by 2100. The oceans are absorbing over 90% of the increased atmospheric heat associated with emissions from hu 2 Like mercury in a thermometer, water expands as it warms up (this is referred to as “thermal expansion”) man activity. 3 causing sea levels to rise. Melting of glaciers and ice sheets is also contributing to sea level rise at increasing rates. Past and Projected Changes in Global Sea Level Figure shows estimated, observed, and possible amounts of global sea level rise from 1800 to 2100, relative to the year 2000. Estimates from 4 proxy data (for example, based on sediment records) are shown in red (1800-1890, pink band shows uncertainty), tide gauge data in blue for 5 and satellite observations are shown 1880-2009, 6 in green from 1993 to 2012. The future scenarios 7 range from 0.66 feet to 6.6 feet in 2100. These scenarios are not based on climate model sim - ulations, but rather reflect the range of possible - scenarios based on other kinds of scientific stud ies. The orange line at right shows the currently projected range of sea level rise of 1 to 4 feet by 2100, which falls within the larger risk-based scenario range. The large projected range reflects uncertainty about how glaciers and ice sheets will react to the warming ocean, the warming atmosphere, and changing winds and currents. As seen in the observations, there are year-to-year variations in the trend. (Figure source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory). 30

39 Emission Levels Determine Temperature Rises Different amounts of heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere by human activities produce different projected increases in Earth’s temperature. In the figure, each line represents a central estimate of global average temperature rise for a specific emissions pathway (relative to the 1901-1960 average). Shading indicates the range (5th to 95th percentile) of results from a suite of climate models. Projections in 2099 for additional emissions pathways are indicated by the bars to the right of each panel. In all cases, temperatures are expected to rise, although the difference between lower and higher emissions pathways is substantial. - The left panel shows the two main scenarios (SRES) used in this report: A2 assumes continued increases in emissions throughout this cen tury, and B1 assumes significant emissions reductions beginning around 2050, though not due explicitly to climate change policies. The right panel shows newer analyses, which are results from the most recent generation of climate models (CMIP5) using the most recent emissions pathways (RCPs). Some of these new projections explicitly consider climate policies that would result in emissions reductions, which the 8 SRES set did not. The newest set includes both lower and higher pathways than did the previous set. The lowest emissions pathway shown here, RCP 2.6, assumes immediate and rapid reductions in emissions and would result in about 2.5°F of warming in this century. The highest pathway, RCP 8.5, roughly similar to a continuation of the current path of global emissions increases, is projected to lead to more than 8°F warming by 2100, with a high-end possibility of more than 11°F. (Data from CMIP3, CMIP5, and NOAA NCDC). Where we are heading Both voluntary activities and a variety of policies and measures that lower emissions are currently in place at federal, state, and local levels in the U.S., even though there is no comprehensive national climate legislation. Over the remainder of this century, aggressive and sustained greenhouse gas emission reductions by the U.S. and by other nations would be needed to reduce global emissions to a level consistent with the lower scenario (B1) analyzed in this assessment. 31

40 FINDING 4 WIDESPREAD IMPACTS Impacts related to climate change are already evident in many sectors and are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond. limate change is already affecting societies and the natural world. Climate C change interacts with other environmental and societal factors in ways that can either moderate or intensify these impacts. The types and magnitudes of impacts vary across the nation and through time. Children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor are especially vulnerable. There is mounting evidence that harm to the nation will increase substantially in the future unless global emissions of heat-trapping gases are greatly reduced. Because environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic systems are tightly - coupled, climate change impacts can either be amplified or reduced by cul tural and socioeconomic decisions. In many arenas, it is clear that societal decisions have substantial influence on the vulnerability of valued resources to climate change. For example, rapid population growth and development in coastal areas tends to amplify climate change related impacts. Recog - nition of these couplings, together with recognition of multiple sources of vulnerability, helps identify what information decision-makers need as they manage risks. - Storm surge on top of sea level rise exacer bates coastal flooding during hurricanes. Multiple System Failures Katrina Diaspora During Extreme Events Impacts are particularly severe when critical systems simultaneously fail. We have already seen multiple system failures during an extreme weather event in the United States, as when 1 Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Infrastructure and evacuation failures and collapse of critical response services during a storm is one example of multiple system failures. Another example is a loss of electrical power during heat waves or wildfires, which 2 Air can reduce food and water safety. conditioning has helped reduce illness 3 but if and death due to extreme heat, power is lost, everyone is vulnerable. By their nature, such events can exceed 4 In succes - our capacity to respond. - This map illustrates the national scope of the dispersion of displaced people from Hurri sion, these events severely deplete cane Katrina. It shows the location by zip code of the 800,000 displaced Louisiana resi - resources needed to respond, from dents who requested federal emergency assistance. The evacuees ended up dispersed the individual to the national scale, across the entire nation, illustrating the wide-ranging impacts that can flow from extreme but disproportionately affect the most weather events, such as those that are projected to increase in frequency and/or intensity 5 vulnerable populations. 6 as climate continues to change. (Figure source: Kent 2006 ). 32

41 Coral Reef Ecosystem Collapse In many social and natural systems, climate change combines with other stresses to cause or expand impacts. For example, coral reefs are threatened by a combination of ocean acidification caused by increased car - bon dioxide, rising ocean temperatures, and a variety of other factors caused by human activities. Recent research indicates that 75% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened due to the interactive effects of climate change and local sources of stress, such as overfishing, 7 In Florida, all nutrient pollution, and disease. reefs are rated as threatened; with signifi - Warm water caused this coral colony to “bleach” (left) as it expelled the symbi - cant impacts on valuable ecosystem services otic algae that gave it color and nourishment. The coral then experienced more 8 Caribbean coral cover has they provide. disease (right), which eventually killed the colony. 9 decreased 80% in less than three decades. These declines have in turn led to a flattening of the three dimensional structure of coral reefs and hence a decrease in 10 the capacity of coral reefs to provide shelter and additional resources for other reef-dependent ocean life. The relationship between coral and zooxanthellae (algae vital for reef-building corals) is disrupted by higher than usual temperatures and results in a condition where the coral is still alive, but devoid of all its color (bleaching). Bleached 11 Thus, high temperature events alone can kill large stretches of corals can later die or become infected with disease. coral reef, although cold water and poor water quality can also cause localized bleaching and death. Evidence suggests that relatively pristine reefs, with fewer human impacts and with intact fish and associated invertebrate communities, 12 are more resilient to coral bleaching and disease. Cascading Effects Across Sectors Agriculture, water, energy, transportation, and more, are all affected by climate change. These sectors of our economy do not exist in isolation and are linked in increasingly complex ways. For example, water supply and energy use are completely intertwined, since water is used to generate energy, and energy is required to pump, treat, and deliver water – which means that irrigation-dependent farmers and urban dwellers are linked as well. A recent illustration of these interconnections took place during the widespread drought of 2011-2012 when high temperatures caused increased demand for electricity for air conditioning, which resulted in increased water withdrawal and consumption for elec - tricity generation. Heat, increased evaporation, drier soils, and lack of rain led to higher irrigation demands, which added stress on water resources required for energy production. At the same time, low-flowing and warmer rivers threatened to suspend power plant production in several locations, reducing the options for dealing with the concurrent increase in electricity demand. With electricity demands at all-time highs, water shortages threatened more than 3,000 megawatts of generating capacity – enough power to supply more 13 As a result of the record than one million homes. 14 demand and reduced supply, electricity prices spiked. Heat and drought lead to cascading impacts among sectors including agriculture, water, and energy. 33

42 FINDING HUMAN HEALTH 5 Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways. C limate change is increasing the risks of respiratory stress from poor air quality, heat stress, and the spread of food- - borne, insect-borne, and waterborne diseases. Extreme weather events often lead to fatalities and a variety of health im pacts on vulnerable populations, including impacts on mental health, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Large-scale changes in the environment due to climate change and extreme weather events are increasing the risk of the emergence or reemergence of health threats that are currently uncommon in the United States, such as dengue fever. Key weather and climate drivers of health impacts include increasingly frequent, intense, and longer-lasting extreme heat, which worsens drought, wildfire, and air pollution risks; increasingly frequent extreme precipitation, intense storms, and changes in precipitation patterns that can lead to flooding, drought, and ecosystem changes; and rising sea levels that intensify coastal flooding and storm surge, causing injuries, deaths, stress due to evacuations, and water quality impacts, among other effects on public health. K M ey H ealt H uMan : H essages Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including impacts from increased extreme weather events, wildfire, decreased air quality, threats to mental health, and illnesses transmitted by food, water, and disease- carriers such as mosquitoes and ticks. Some of these health impacts are already underway in the United States. Climate change will, absent other changes, amplify some of the existing health threats the nation now faces. Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. Public health actions, especially preparedness and prevention, can do much to protect people from some of the impacts of climate change. Early action provides the largest health benefits. As threats increase, our ability to adapt to future changes may be limited. Responding to climate change provides opportunities to improve human health and well-being across many sectors, including energy, agriculture, and transportation. Many of these strategies offer a variety of benefits, protecting people while combating climate change and providing other societal benefits. Air Quality Wildfire Smoke has Widespread Health Effects Climate change is projected to harm Wildfires, which are projected to increase in human health by increasing ground- some regions due to climate change, have level ozone and/or particulate health impacts that can extend hundreds of matter in some locations. Ground- miles. Forest fires in Quebec, Canada, during level ozone (a key component of July 2002 resulted in up to a 30-fold increase smog) is associated with many in airborne fine particle concentrations in health problems, such as diminished Baltimore, a city nearly a thousand miles lung function, increased hospital - downwind. These fine particles are extreme admissions and emergency room ly harmful to human health, affecting both visits for asthma, and increases indoor and outdoor air quality. An average of 1 Factors in premature deaths. 6.4 million acres burned in U.S. wildfires each that affect ozone formation year between 2000 and 2010, with 9.5 million acres burned in 2006 and 9.1 million acres include heat, concentrations of 3 in 2012. Global deaths from wildfire smoke precursor chemicals, and methane have been estimated at 260,000 to 600,000 emissions, while particulate matter 4 (Figure source: MODIS instrument annually. concentrations are affected by on the Terra Satellite, Land Rapid Response wildfire emissions and air stagnation Team, NASA/GSFC). 2 episodes, among other factors. 34

43 Warmer and drier conditions have Ragweed Pollen Season Lengthens already contributed to increasing wildfire extent across the western United States, and future increases 5,6 Long are projected in some regions. periods of record high temperatures are associated with droughts that contribute to dry conditions and 7 drive wildfires in some areas. Wildfire smoke contains particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other compounds, which can significantly reduce air quality, both locally and 8,9 Smoke in areas downwind of fires. exposure increases respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalizations, emergency room visits and medication for asthma, bronchitis, 8,10,11 chest pain, and other ailments. It has been associated with hundreds of thousands of deaths globally each Ragweed pollen season length has increased in central North America between 1995 and 4,8,10,12 2011 by as much as 11 to 27 days in parts of the U.S. and Canada, in response to rising Future climate change year. temperatures. Increases in the length of this allergenic pollen season are correlated with is projected to increase wildfire increases in the number of days before the first frost. As shown in the figure, the largest risks and associated emissions, with 14 6,13 increases have been observed in northern cities. (Data updated from Ziska et al. 2011 ). harmful impacts on health. Allergies and Asthma 6,14,15 by itself, can contribute to increased production of plant-based allergens. Climate change, as well as increased CO 2 16,17 Higher pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons can increase allergic sensitizations and asthma episodes, 14,17,18 Simultaneous exposure to toxic air pollutants can worsen allergic and diminish productive work and school days. 19 Extreme rainfall and rising temperatures can also foster indoor air quality problems, including the growth of responses. 20 indoor fungi and molds, with increases in respiratory and asthma-related conditions. Heavy Downpours are Increasing Exposure to Disease Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC 35

44 Finding 5: HUMAN HEALTH Food and Waterborne Diarrheal Disease Diarrheal disease is a major public health issue in developing countries and while not generally increasing in the United States, remains a persistent concern nonetheless. Exposure to a variety of pathogens in water and food causes diarrheal disease. Air and water temperatures, precipitation patterns, extreme rainfall events, and seasonal variations are all 21 In the U.S., children and the elderly are most vulnerable to serious outcomes, known to affect disease transmission. and those exposed to inadequately or untreated groundwater will be among those most affected. In general, diarrheal diseases including Salmonellosis and Campylobacteriosis are more common when temperatures 22 though patterns differ by place and pathogen. Diarrheal diseases have also been found to occur more are higher, 23 Sporadic increases in streamflow rates, often frequently in conjunction with both unusually high and low precipitation. 24 25 and changes in water treatment, have also been shown to precede outbreaks. Risks of preceded by rapid snowmelt waterborne illness, and beach closures resulting from heavy rain and rising water temperatures are expected to increase 26,27 in the Great Lakes region due to projected climate change. Extreme Heat 28 Many cities, including St. Extreme heat events are the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cincinnati have suffered dramatic spikes in death rates during heat waves. Deaths 29 but also from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cerebro - result from heat stroke and related conditions, 30,31 Heat waves are also associated with increased hospital admissions for cardiovascular, kidney, and vascular disease. 31,32 respiratory disorders. Extreme summer heat is increasing in the United States. The effects of heat stress are greatest during heat waves lasting several days or more. As human-induced climate change causes temperatures to continue to rise, heat waves 33 are projected to increase in frequency, intensity, and duration. Some of the risks of heat-related sickness and death have diminished in recent decades, possibly due to better forecast - 34 However, ing, heat-health early warning systems, and/or increased access to air conditioning for the U.S. population. extreme heat events remain a cause of preventable death nationwide. Urban heat islands, combined with an aging population and increased urbanization, are projected to increase the vulnerability of urban populations, especially the 35 poor, to heat-related health impacts in the future. While deaths and injuries related to The Hottest Days Will Get Hotter extreme cold events are projected to decline due to climate change, these - reductions are not expected to com pensate for the increase in heat-related 36 deaths. Diseases Carried by Vectors The maps show projected increases in the average temperature on the hottest days by late this century (2081-2100) relative to 1986-2005 under a scenario that assumes a rapid reduction in heat-trapping gases (RCP 2.6) and a scenario that assumes continued in - creases in these gases (RCP 8.5). The hottest days are those so hot they occur only once in 20 years. Across most of the continental U.S., those days will be about 10ºF to 15ºF hotter in the future under the higher emissions scenario, increasing health risks. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). 36

45 - Climate is one of the factors that influences the distribution of diseases borne by vectors (such as fleas, ticks, and mos 37,38,39,40 - The geographic and seasonal distribution of vector popu quitoes, which spread pathogens that cause illness). lations, and the diseases they can carry, depend not only on climate, but also on land use, socioeconomic and cultural 38,41,42 factors, pest control, access to health care, and human responses to disease risk, among other factors. North Americans are currently at risk from numerous vector-borne diseases, including Lyme, dengue fever, West Nile 40,43,44 Vector-borne pathogens not currently found in the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, plague, and tularemia. virus, U.S., such as chikungunya, Chagas disease, and Rift Valley fever viruses, are also threats. Climate change effects on the geographical distribution and incidence of vector-borne diseases in other countries where these diseases are already found can also affect North Americans, especially as a result of increasing trade with, and travel to, tropical and subtrop - 39,42 ical areas. yMe isease l d Projected Changes in Tick Habitat The development and survival of blacklegged ticks, their animal hosts, and the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, are strongly influenced by climatic factors, especially temperature, precipitation, and humidity. Potential impacts of climate change on the transmission of Lyme disease include: 1) changes in the geographic distribution of the disease due to the increase in favorable habitat for ticks to 45 2) a lengthened survive off their hosts; transmission season due to earlier onset of higher temperatures in the spring and later onset of cold and frost; 3) higher tick densities leading to greater risk in areas where the disease is currently observed due to milder winters and potentially larger The maps show the current and projected (for 2080) probability of establishment of rodent host populations; and 4) changes in ) that transmit Lyme disease. The projected Ixodes scapularis tick populations ( human behaviors, including increased time expansion of tick habitat includes much of the eastern half of the country by 2080. For outdoors, which may lead to a higher risk of some areas around the Gulf Coast, the probability of tick population establishment is exposure to infected ticks. 46 ). projected to decrease by 2080. (Figure source: adapted from Brownstein et al. 2005 Multiple Benefits Policies and other strategies intended to reduce carbon pollution and mitigate climate change can often have indepen - emissions through renewable electrical power generation dent influences on human health. For example, reducing CO 2 can reduce air pollutants like particles and sulfur dioxide. Efforts to improve the resiliency of communities and human - infrastructure to climate change impacts can also improve human health. There is a growing recognition that the mag nitude of health “co-benefits,” like reducing both pollution and cardiovascular disease, could be significant, both from a 47 public health and an economic standpoint. 27 Innovative urban design could create increased access to active transport (such as walking and biking). The compact geographical area found in cities presents opportunities to reduce energy use and emissions of heat-trapping gases and other air pollutants through active transit, improved building construction, provision of services, and infrastructure 48,49 Urban planning strategies designed to reduce the urban heat island effect, creation, such as bike paths and sidewalks. such as green/cool roofs, increased green space, parkland, and urban canopy, could reduce indoor temperatures and improve indoor air quality, and could also produce additional societal co-benefits by promoting social interaction and 48,50 prioritizing vulnerable urban populations. 37

46 FINDING INFRASTRUCTURE 6 Infrastructure is being damaged by sea level rise, heavy downpours, and extreme heat; damages are projected to increase with continued climate change. S ea level rise, storm surge, and heavy downpours, in combination with the pattern of continued development in coastal areas, are increasing damage to U.S. infrastructure including roads, buildings, and industrial facilities, and are also increasing risks to ports and coastal military installations. Flooding along rivers, lakes, and in cities following heavy downpours, prolonged rains, and rapid melting of snowpack is exceeding the limits of flood protection infrastructure designed for historical conditions. Extreme heat is damaging transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail lines, and airport runways. Infrastructure around the country has been compromised by extreme weather events and rising sea levels. Power outages and road and bridge damage are among the infrastructure failures that have occurred during these extreme events. A disruption in any one system affects others. For example, a failure of the electrical grid can affect everything from water treatment to public health. 38

47 K nfrastructure ulnerab V and , , I Ms IlIty ey M essages : u rban s yste Climate change and its impacts threaten the well-being of urban residents in all U.S. regions. Essential infrastructure systems such as water, energy supply, and transportation will increasingly be compromised by interrelated climate change impacts. The nation’s economy, security, and culture all depend on the resilience of urban infrastructure systems. In urban settings, climate-related disruptions of services in one infrastructure system will almost always result in disruptions in one or more other infrastructure systems. Climate vulnerability and adaptive capacity of urban residents and communities are influenced by pronounced social inequalities that reflect age, ethnicity, gender, income, health, and (dis)ability differences. City government agencies and organizations have started adaptation plans that focus on infrastructure systems and public health. To be successful, these adaptation efforts require cooperative private sector and governmental activities, but institutions face many barriers to implementing coordinated efforts. Climate change poses a series of interrelated challenges to the country’s most densely populated places: its cities. The U.S. is highly urbanized, with about 80% of its population living in cities and metropolitan areas. Cities depend on infrastructure, like water and sewage systems, roads, bridges, and power plants, much of which is aging and in need of repair or replacement. These issues will be compounded by rising sea levels, storm surges, heat waves, and extreme weather events, stressing or even overwhelming essential services. Urban dwellers are particularly vulnerable to disruptions in essential infrastructure services, in part because many of these infrastructure - New York City’s subway system, the nation’s busiest, sustained the worst dam systems are reliant on each other. For age in its 108 years of operation on October 29, 2012. Millions of people were example, electricity is essential to multiple left without service for at least a week. The damages from Superstorm Sandy systems, and a failure in the electrical grid are indicative of what powerful tropical storms and higher sea levels could bring more frequently in the future, and were very much in line with vulnerabil - can affect water treatment, transportation 4 ity assessments conducted over the past four years. The effects of the storm services, and public health. These would have been far worse if local climate resilience strategies had not been infrastructure systems – lifelines to millions – in place. The City of New York and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority worked aggressively to protect life and property by stopping the operation of will continue to be affected by various climate- the city’s subway before the storm hit and moving the train cars out of low-ly - related events and processes. ing, flood-prone areas. Catastrophic loss of life would have resulted if there had been subway trains operating in the tunnels when the storm struck. Cities have become early responders to climate change challenges and opportunities. Integrating climate change action in everyday city and infrastructure 1,2 By operations and governance is an important planning and implementation tool for advancing adaptation in cities. integrating climate-change considerations into daily operations, these efforts can forestall the need to develop a new 3 This strategy enables cities and other government and isolated set of climate-change-specific policies or procedures. agencies to take advantage of existing funding sources and programs, and achieve co-benefits in areas such as sustainability, public health, economic development, disaster preparedness, and environmental justice. Pursuing low- 1,3 cost, no-regrets options is a particularly attractive short-term strategy for many cities. 39

48 Finding 6: INFRASTRUCTURE ransportat : t essages M ey K Ion - The impacts from sea level rise and storm surge, extreme weather events, higher temperatures and heat waves, pre cipitation changes, Arctic warming, and other climatic conditions are affecting the reliability and capacity of the U.S. transportation system in many ways. Sea level rise, coupled with storm surge, will continue to increase the risk of major coastal impacts on transportation infrastructure, including both temporary and permanent flooding of airports, ports and harbors, roads, rail lines, tunnels, and bridges. Extreme weather events currently disrupt transportation networks in all areas of the country; projections indicate that such disruptions will increase. Climate change impacts will increase the total costs to the nation’s transportation systems and their users, but these impacts can be reduced through rerouting, mode change, and a wide range of adaptive actions. Transportation systems are affected by climate change and also contribute to climate change. In 2010, the U.S. transportation sector accounted for 27% of all U.S. heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, with cars and trucks 5 5 Petroleum accounts for 93% of the nation’s transportation energy use. This means accounting for 65% of that total. that policies and behavioral changes aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions will have significant implications for the various components of the transportation sector. Transportation systems are already experiencing costly climate change related impacts. Many inland states, including Vermont, Tennessee, Iowa, and Missouri, have experienced severe precipitation events, hail, and flooding during the past three years, damaging roads, bridges, and rail systems and the vehicles that use them. Over the coming decades, all modes of transportation and regions will be affected by increasing temperatures, more extreme weather events, and changes in precipitation. Concentrated transportation impacts are particularly expected to occur in Alaska and along seacoasts. Gulf Coast Transportation Hubs at Risk Within this century, 2,400 miles of major roadway are projected to be inundated by sea level rise in the Gulf Coast region. The map shows roadways at risk in the event of a sea level rise of about 4 feet, which is within the range of projections for this region in this century. In total, 24% of interstate highway miles and 28% of secondary road miles in the Gulf Coast region are 6 at elevations below 4 feet. (Figure source: Kafalenos et al. 2008 ). 40

49 s K u and upply se nergy : e essages M ey Extreme weather events are affecting energy production and delivery facilities, causing supply disruptions of - varying lengths and magnitudes and affecting other infrastructure that depends on energy supply. The frequen cy and intensity of certain types of extreme weather events are expected to change. Higher summer temperatures will increase electricity use, causing higher summer peak loads, while warmer winters will decrease energy demands for heating. Net electricity use is projected to increase. - Changes in water availability, both episodic and long-lasting, will constrain different forms of energy produc tion. In the longer term, sea level rise, extreme storm surge events, and high tides will affect coastal facilities and infrastructure on which many energy systems, markets, and consumers depend. As new investments in energy technologies occur, future energy systems will differ from today’s in uncertain ways. Depending on the character of changes in the energy mix, climate change will introduce new risks as well as opportunities. The U.S. energy system Increase in Cooling Demand and Decrease in Heating Demand provides a secure supply of energy with only occasional interruptions. However, projected impacts of climate change will increase energy use in the summer and pose additional risks to reliability. Extreme weather events and water shortages are already interrupting energy supply and impacts are expected to increase in the future. Most vulnerabilities and The observed increase in cooling energy demand has been greater than the decrease in heating energy demand. Figure shows observed increases in population-weighted cooling degree days, which result in risks to energy supply and increased air conditioning use, and decreases in population-weighted heating degree days, meaning less use are unique to local energy required to heat buildings in winter, compared to the average for 1970-2000. Cooling degree days are situations; others are defined as the number of degrees that a day’s average temperature is above 65ºF, while heating degree days 8 national in scope. ). are the number of degrees a day’s average temperature is below 65ºF. (Data from NOAA NCDC 2012 Increases in average temperatures and high temperature extremes are expected to lead to increasing demands for electricity for cooling in every U.S. region. Virtually all cooling load is handled by the electrical grid. In order to meet increased demands for peak electricity, additional generating and distribution facilities will be needed, or demand will have to be managed through a variety of mechanisms. Electricity at peak demand typically is more expensive to supply than at average 7 demand. In addition to being vulnerable to the effects of climate change, electricity generation is a major source of the heat- trapping gases that contribute to climate change. As a result, regulatory or policy efforts aimed at reducing emissions would also affect the energy supply system. 41

50 FINDING WATER 7 Water quality and water supply reliability are jeopardized by climate change in a variety of ways that affect ecosystems and livelihoods. S urface and groundwater supplies in some regions are already stressed by increasing demand as well as declining runoff and groundwater recharge. In some regions, particularly the southern U.S. and the Caribbean and Pacific islands, climate change is increasing the likelihood of water shortages and competition for water. Water quality is diminishing in many areas, particularly due to increasing sediment and contaminant concentrations after heavy downpours. M ey K : W ater esources r essages Climate Change Impacts on the Water Cycle Annual precipitation and river-flow increases are observed now in the Midwest and the Northeast regions. Very heavy precipitation events have increased nationally and are projected to increase in all regions. The length of dry spells is projected to increase in most areas, especially the southern and northwestern portions of the contiguous United States. Short-term (seasonal or shorter) droughts are expected to intensify in most U.S. regions. Longer-term droughts are expected to intensify in large areas of the Southwest, southern Great Plains, and Southeast. Flooding may intensify in many U.S. regions, even in areas where total precipitation is projected to decline. Climate change is expected to affect water demand, groundwater withdrawals, and aquifer recharge, reducing groundwater availability in some areas. - Sea level rise, storms and storm surges, and changes in surface and groundwater use patterns are expected to compro mise the sustainability of coastal freshwater aquifers and wetlands. Increasing air and water temperatures, more intense precipitation and runoff, and intensifying droughts can decrease river and lake water quality in many ways, including increases in sediment, nitrogen, and other pollutant loads. Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources Use and Management Climate change affects water demand and the ways water is used within and across regions and economic sectors. The Southwest, Great Plains, and Southeast are particularly vulnerable to changes in water supply and demand. Changes in precipitation and runoff, combined with changes in consumption and withdrawal, have reduced surface and groundwater supplies in many areas. These trends are expected to continue, increasing the likelihood of water shortages for many uses. Increasing flooding risk affects human safety and health, property, infrastructure, economies, and ecology in many basins across the United States. Adaptation and Institutional Responses In most U.S. regions, water resources managers and planners will encounter new risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities that may not be properly managed within existing practices. Increasing resilience and enhancing adaptive capacity provide opportunities to strengthen water resources management and plan for climate change impacts. Many institutional, scientific, economic, and political barriers present challenges to implementing adaptive strategies. 42

51 Changes to Water Demand and Use Water Stress in the U. S. Climate change, acting concurrently with demographic, land-use, energy generation and use, and socioeconomic changes, is challenging existing water management practices by affecting water availability and demand and by exacerbating competition among uses and users. In some regions, these current and expected impacts are hastening efficiency improvements in water withdrawal and use, the deployment of more proactive water management and adaptation approaches, and the re-assessment of the water infrastructure 1 and institutional responses. Water Withdrawals Total freshwater withdrawals (including water withdrawn and consumed as well as water that returns to the original source) and consumptive In many places, competing demands for water create stress in local and regional uses have leveled off nationally since 1980 at watersheds. Map shows a “water supply stress index” for the U.S. based on 350 billion gallons of withdrawn water and observations, with widespread stress in much of the Southwest, western Great 100 billion gallons of consumptive water per Plains, and parts of the Northwest. From an energy production and demand context, day, despite the addition of 68 million people watersheds are considered stressed when water demand from agriculture, power 2 Irrigation and electric from 1980 to 2005. plants, and municipalities exceeds 40% of available supply. This often causes conflict power plant cooling withdrawals account for water resources among sectors. In other contexts, many basins experience 3 ). critical stresses far below this threshold. (Figure source: Averyt et al. 2011 for approximately 77% of total withdrawals, municipal and industrial for 20%, and livestock and aquaculture for 3%. Most thermoelectric withdrawals are returned back to rivers after their use for power plant cooling, while most irrigation withdrawals are consumed by the processes of evapotranspiration (evaporation and loss of moisture from leaves) and plant growth. Thus, consumptive water use is dominated by irrigation (81%) followed distantly by municipal and industrial (8%) and the remaining water uses (5%). The largest withdrawals occur in the drier western states for crop irrigation. In the east, water withdrawals mainly serve municipal, industrial, and thermoelectric uses. Some of the largest demand increases are projected in regions where groundwater aquifers are the main water supply source, such as the Great Plains and parts of the Southwest and Southeast. The projected water demand increases (shown below) combined with potentially declining recharge rates threaten the sustainability of many aquifers. Projected Changes in Water Withdrawals The effects of climate change, primarily associated with increasing temperatures and potential evapotranspiration, are projected to significantly increase water demand across most of the United States. Maps show percent change from 2005 to 2060 in projected demand for water assuming (a) change in population and socioeconomic conditions consistent with the A1B emissions scenario (increasing emissions through the middle of this century, with gradual reductions thereafter), but with no change in climate, and (b) combined changes in population, 4 socioeconomic conditions, and climate according to the A1B emissions scenario. (Figure source: Brown et al. 2013 ) 43

52 Finding 7: WATER Projected Snow Water Equivalent - Snow water equivalent refers to the amount of wa ter held in a volume of snow, which depends on the density of the snow and other factors. Figure shows projected snow water equivalent for the Southwest, as 96% a percentage of 1971-2000 levels, assuming continued 87% 98% 87% 91% 67% 74% increases in global emissions (A2 scenario). The size 66% 31% of the bars is in proportion to the amount of snow each 100% 100% 100% state contributes to the regional total; thus, the bars for Arizona are much smaller than those for Colorado, 84% 66% which contributes the most to region-wide snowpack. 43% Declines in peak snow water equivalent are strongly 100% correlated with early timing of runoff and decreases in 99% 76% total runoff. For watersheds that depend on snowpack to 47% 58% 12% 34% provide the majority of the annual runoff, such as in the Sierra Nevada and in the Upper Colorado and Upper Rio Grande River Basins, lower snow water equivalent generally translates to reduced reservoir water storage. (Data from Scripps Institution of Oceanography). 2070-2099 2006-2035 2041-2070 1971-2000 Water Quality Lower and more persistent low flows under drought conditions as well as higher flows during floods can worsen water quality. Increasing precipitation intensity, along with the effects of wildfires and fertilizer use, are increasing sediment, 5 and ecosystems in some places. nutrient, and contaminant loads in surface waters used by downstream water users Changing land cover, flood frequencies, and flood magnitudes are expected to increase mobilization of sediments in 6 large river basins. Water Supplies Projected to Decline Climate change is projected to reduce water supplies in some parts of the country. This is true in areas where precipitation is projected to decline, and even in some areas where precipitation is expected to increase. Compared to 10% of counties today, by 2050, 32% of counties will be at high or extreme risk of water shortages. Numbers of counties are in parentheses in key. Projections assume continued increases in greenhouse gas emissions through 2050 and a slow decline thereafter (A1B scenario). (Figure source: Reprinted with permission from Roy et 7 al. 2012 . Copyright American Chemical Society). 44

53 ey : e u and l and , ater , W essages M se nergy K - Energy, water, and land systems interact in many ways. Climate change affects the individual sectors and their interac tions; the combination of these factors affects climate change vulnerability as well as adaptation and mitigation options for different regions of the country. The dependence of energy systems on land and water supplies will influence the development of these systems and options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as their climate change vulnerability. Jointly considering risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities associated with energy, water, and land use is challenging, but can improve the identification and evaluation of options for reducing climate change impacts. Energy production, land use, and water resources are linked in complex ways. Electric utilities and energy companies compete with farmers and ranchers for water rights in some parts of the country. Land-use planners need to consider the interactive impacts of strained water supplies on cities, agriculture, and ecological needs. Across the country, these intertwined sectors will witness increased stresses due to climate changes that are projected to reduce water quality and/or quantity in many regions and change heating and cooling electricity demand, among other impacts. Energy, Water, Land, and Climate Interactions The interactions between and among the energy, water, land, and climate systems take place within a social and economic context. 8 (Figure source: Skaggs et al. 2012 ). 45

54 FINDING AGRICULTURE 8 Climate disruptions to agriculture have been increasing and are projected to become more severe over this century. S ome areas are already experiencing climate-related disruptions, particularly due to extreme weather events. While some U.S. regions and some types of agricultural production will be relatively resilient to climate change over the next 25 years or so, others will increasingly suffer from stresses due to extreme heat, drought, disease, and heavy downpours. From mid-century on, climate change is projected to have more negative impacts on crops and livestock across the country – a trend that could diminish the security of our food supply. gr : a essages M ey K Iculture Climate disruptions to agricultural production have increased in the past 40 years and are projected to increase over the next 25 years. By mid-century and beyond, these impacts will be increasingly negative on most crops and livestock. Many agricultural regions will experience declines in crop and livestock production from increased stress due to weeds, diseases, insect pests, and other climate change induced stresses. Current loss and degradation of critical agricultural soil and water assets due to increasing extremes in precipitation will continue to challenge both rainfed and irrigated agriculture unless innovative conservation methods are implemented. The rising incidence of weather extremes will have increasingly negative impacts on crop and livestock productivity because critical thresholds are already being exceeded. Agriculture has been able to adapt to recent changes in climate; however, increased innovation will be needed to ensure the rate of adaptation of agriculture and the associated socioeconomic system can keep pace with climate change over the next 25 years. Climate change effects on agriculture will have consequences for food security, both in the U.S. and globally, through changes in crop yields and food prices and effects on food processing, storage, transportation, and retailing. Adaptation measures can help delay and reduce some of these impacts. Crop Yields Decline under Higher Temperatures Crop yields are very sensitive to temperature and rainfall. They are especially sensitive to high temperatures during the pollination and grain-filling period. For example, corn (left) and soybean (right) harvests in Illinois and Indiana, two major producers, were lower in years with average maximum summer (June, July, and August) temperatures that were higher than the 1980-2007 average. Most years with below-average yields are both 1,2 There is a very high correlation between warm and dry conditions during warmer and drier than normal. 4 3 Midwest summers in the land surface. due to similar meteorological conditions and drought-caused changes 1 ). (Figure source: redrawn from Mishra and Cherkauer 2010 46

55 Key Climate Variables Affecting Agricultural Productivity Frost-free season is projected to lengthen across much of the nation. Taking advantage of the increasing length of the growing season and changing planting dates could allow planting of more diverse crop rotations, which can be an effective adap - tation strategy. Climate change poses a major challenge to U.S. agriculture, because of the critical dependence of the agricultural system on climate and because of the complex role agriculture plays in social and economic systems. Climate change has the potential The annual maximum number of to both positively and negatively affect the consecutive dry days (less than location, timing, and productivity of crop, 0.01 inches of rain) is projected to livestock, and fishery systems at local, increase, especially in the western national, and global scales. and southern parts of the nation, - negatively affecting crop and ani mal production. The trend toward The U.S. produces nearly $330 billion per 5 more consecutive dry days and This year in agricultural commodities. higher temperatures will increase productivity is vulnerable to direct impacts evaporation and add stress to on crop and livestock development and limited water resources, affecting yield from changing climate conditions 6 irrigation and other water uses. and extreme weather events, and indirect impacts through increasing pressures from Crop Yields Decline under Higher Temperatures pests and pathogens. Climate change has the potential to both positively and negatively affect agricultural systems at local, national, and global scales. Climate change will also alter the stability of food supplies and create Hot nights are defined as nights new food security challenges for the U.S. as with a minimum temperature the world seeks to feed nine billion people higher than 98% of the minimum by 2050. temperatures between 1971 and 2000. Such nights are projected The agricultural sector continually adapts to increase throughout the nation. through a variety of strategies that have High nighttime temperatures can allowed previous agricultural production reduce grain yields and increase to increase, as evidenced by the continued stress on animals, resulting in re - growth in production and efficiency across duced rates of meat, milk, and egg the United States. However, the magnitude 7 production. of climate change projected for this century and beyond, particularly under higher emissions scenarios, will challenge the ability Projections are shown for 2070-2099 as compared to 1971-2000 under an emissions scenario that assumes of the agriculture sector to continue to continued increases in heat-trapping gases (A2). (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). successfully adapt. 47

56 FINDING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES 9 Climate change poses particular threats to Indigenous Peoples’ health, well-being, and ways of life. he peoples, lands, and resources of indigenous communities in T the United States, including Alaska and the Pacific Rim, face an - array of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. The conse quences of observed and projected climate change have and will undermine indigenous ways of life that have persisted for thou - sands of years. Native cultures are directly tied to Native places and homelands, and many indigenous peoples regard all people, plants, and animals that share our world as relatives rather than resources. Language, ceremonies, cultures, practices, and food sources evolved in concert with the inhabitants, human and non-human, of specific homelands. Climate change impacts on many of the 566 federally recognized tribes and other tribal and indigenous groups are projected to be - especially severe, since these impacts are compounded by a num Human-caused stresses such as dam building have 1 Key vulnerabili - ber of persistent social and economic problems. greatly reduced salmon on the Klamath River. ties include the loss of traditional knowledge in the face of rapidly changing ecological conditions, increased food insecurity due to reduced availability of traditional foods, changing water 2,3 availability, Arctic sea ice loss, permafrost thaw, and relocation from historic homelands. We humbly ask permission from all our relatives; our elders, our families, our children, the winged and the insects, the four-legged, the swimmers, and all the plant and animal nations, to speak. Our Mother has cried out to us. She is in pain. We are called to answer her cries. Msit No’Kmaq – All my relations! — Indigenous Prayer : I esources r and , ands , l K ey M essages eoples nd Igenous p Observed and future impacts from climate change threaten Native Peoples’ access to traditional foods such as fish, game, and wild and cultivated crops, which have provided sustenance as well as cultural, economic, medicinal, and community health for generations. A significant decrease in water quality and quantity due to a variety of factors, including climate change, is affecting drinking water, food, and cultures. Native communities’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to adapt to water-related challenges are exacerbated by historical and contemporary government policies and poor socioeconomic conditions. Declining sea ice in Alaska is causing significant impacts to Native communities, including increasingly risky travel and hunting conditions, damage and loss to settlements, food insecurity, and socioeconomic and health impacts from loss of cultures, traditional knowledge, and homelands. Alaska Native communities are increasingly exposed to health and livelihood hazards from increasing temperatures and thawing permafrost, which are damaging critical infrastructure, adding to other stressors on traditional lifestyles. Climate change related impacts are forcing relocation of tribal and indigenous communities, especially in coastal locations. These relocations, and the lack of governance mechanisms or funding to support them, are causing loss of community and culture, health impacts, and economic decline, further exacerbating tribal impoverishment. 48

57 Indigenous communities in various parts of the U.S. have observed climatic changes that result in impacts such as the loss of traditional foods, medicines, and water supplies. The Southwest’s 182 federally recognized tribes and communities in its U.S.-Mexico border region share particularly high vulnerabilities to climate changes such as high temperatures, drought, and severe storms. Changes in long-term average temperature, precipitation, and declining snowpack have altered the physical and hydrologic environment on the Colorado Plateau, making the Navajo Nation 4 Southwest tribes have more susceptible to drought impacts. observed damage to agriculture and livestock, the loss of springs and medicinal and culturally important plants and animals, and 5 In the Northwest, tribal treaty impacts on drinking water supplies. rights are being affected by the reduction of rainfall and snowmelt in the mountains, melting glaciers, rising temperatures, and shifts 6 Tribal communities in coastal Louisiana are in ocean currents. experiencing climate change induced rising sea levels, along with saltwater intrusion, subsidence, and intense erosion and land loss due to oil and gas extraction, levees, dams, and other river management techniques, forcing them to either relocate or try 7 In Hawai‘i, Native peoples have to find ways to save their land. observed a shortening of the rainy season, increasing intensity of Harvesting traditional foods is important to Native 8 storms and flooding, and unpredictable rainfall patterns. Peoples’ culture, health, and economic well being. In the Great Lakes region, wild rice is unable to grow in its traditional range due to warming winters and changing Alaska Natives Face Multiple Climate Impacts water levels. Alaska is home to 40% (229 of 566) of the federally recognized 9 The small number of jobs, high cost of living, and rapid social change make rural, tribes in the United States. predominantly Native, communities highly vulnerable to climate change through impacts on traditional hunting and fishing practices. In Alaska, water availability, quality, and quantity are threatened by the consequences of permafrost thaw, which has damaged community water infrastructure, as well as by the northward extension of diseases such as 10 those caused by the Giardia parasite. Arctic regional temperatures have risen at twice 2 This the global rate over the past few decades. temperature increase – which is expected to continue with future climate change – is accompanied by significant reductions in sea ice thickness and extent, increased permafrost thaw, more extreme weather and severe storms, and changes in seasonal ice melt/ freeze of lakes and rivers, water temperature, sea level, flooding patterns, erosion, and snowfall timing 11,12 These changes increase the number of and type. serious problems for Alaska Native populations, which include: injury from extreme or unpredictable weather and thinning sea ice; changing snow and ice conditions that limit safe hunting, fishing, or herding practices; malnutrition and food insecurity from lack of access to subsistence food; contamination of food and water; increasing economic, mental, and social problems from loss of culture and traditional livelihood; increases in infectious diseases; and loss of buildings and infrastructure from permafrost erosion and thawing, 2,10,12,13 resulting in the relocation of entire communities. Rising temperatures are causing damage in Native villages in Alaska For more, see pages 82-83 . as sea ice declines and permafrost thaws. Resident of Selawik, Alaska, and his granddaughter survey a water line sinking into the thawing permafrost, August 2011. 49

58 FINDING ECOSYSTEMS 10 Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being affected by climate change. The capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts of extreme events like fires, floods, and severe storms is being overwhelmed. limate change impacts on biodiversity are already being C observed in alteration of the timing of critical biological events such as spring bud burst, and substantial range shifts of many species. In the longer term, there is an increased risk of species extinction. These changes have social, cultural, and economic effects. Events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and pest outbreaks associated with climate change (for example, bark beetles in the West) are already disrupting ecosystems. These changes limit the capacity of ecosystems, such as forests, barrier beaches, and wetlands, to continue to play important roles in reducing the impacts of extreme events on infrastruc - ture, human communities, and other valued resources. In addition to direct impacts on ecosystems, societal choices about land use and agricultural practices affect the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and other elements, which also influence climate. These choices can affect, positively or negatively, the rate and magnitude of climate change and the vulnerabilities of human and natural systems. Changes in snowmelt patterns are affecting water supply. Mt. Rainier, Washington. Ms ey B and iodiversity cosyste : e essages K M Climate change impacts on ecosystems reduce their ability to improve water quality and regulate water flows. Climate change, combined with other stressors, is overwhelming the capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts from extreme events like fires, floods, and storms. Landscapes and seascapes are changing rapidly, and species, including many iconic species, may disappear from regions where they have been prevalent, or become extinct, altering some regions so much that their mix of plant and animal life will become almost unrecognizable. - Timing of critical biological events, such as spring bud burst, emergence from overwintering, and the start of migra tions, has shifted, leading to important impacts on species and habitats. Whole system management is often more effective than focusing on one species at a time, and can help reduce the harm to wildlife, natural assets, and human well-being that climate disruption might cause. 50

59 Climate change affects the living world, in - Major North American Carbon Dioxide cluding people, through changes in ecosys - tems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Sources and Sinks Ecosystems entail all the living things in a particular area as well as the non-living things with which they interact, such as air, soil, water, and sunlight. Biodiversity refers to the variety of life, including the number of species, life forms, genetic types, and - habitats and biomes (which are character istic groupings of plant and animal species found in a particular climate). Biodiversity and ecosystems produce a rich array of benefits that people depend on, including fisheries, drinking water, fertile soils for - growing crops, climate regulation, inspi 1 ration, and aesthetic and cultural values. The release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning in North America (shown here These benefits are called “ecosystem for 2010) vastly exceeds the amount that is taken up and temporarily stored in forests, services” – some of which, like food, are crops, and other ecosystems (shown here is the annual average for 2000-2006). more easily quantified than others, such 4 (Figure source: King et al. 2012 ). as climate regulation or cultural values. Changes in many such services are often Even with these well-documented ecosystem impacts, it is not obvious to those who depend on them. often difficult to quantify human vulnerability that results Ecosystem services contribute to jobs, economic growth, from shifts in ecosystem processes and services. For health, and human well-being. Although we interact example, although it is relatively straightforward to predict with ecosystems and ecosystem services every day, their how precipitation will change water flow, it is much harder linkage to climate change can be elusive because they to pinpoint which farms, cities, and habitats will be at risk 2 are influenced by so many additional entangled factors. of running out of water, and even more difficult to say Ecosystem perturbations driven by climate change have how people will be affected by the loss of a favorite fishing direct human impacts, including reduced water supply and spot or a wildflower that no longer blooms in the region. quality, the loss of iconic species and landscapes, distorted A better understanding of how a range of ecosystem rhythms of nature, and the potential for extreme events to responses affects people – from altered water flows to the overwhelm the regulating services of ecosystems. loss of wildflowers – will help to inform the management of ecosystems in a way that promotes resilience to climate change. , which Ecosystems also represent potential “sinks” for CO 2 are places where carbon can be stored over the short or long term. At the continental scale, there has been a large and relatively consistent increase in forest carbon 3 due to recovery from stocks over the last two decades, past forest harvest, net increases in forest area, improved forest management regimes, and faster growth driven by 4,5 and nitrogen. Emissions of climate or fertilization by CO 2 from human activities in the United States continue to CO 2 uptake by more than three times. exceed ecosystem CO 2 As a result, North America remains a net source of CO 2 4 by a substantial margin. into the atmosphere Forests absorb carbon dioxide and provide many other ecosystem services, such as purifying water and providing recreational opportunities. 51

60 Finding 10: ECOSYSTEMS : F orests essages M ey K Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of many forests to ecosystem changes and tree mortality through fire, insect infestations, drought, and disease outbreaks. U.S. forests and associated wood products currently absorb and store the equivalent of about 16% of all carbon dioxide (CO ) emitted by fossil fuel burning in the U.S. each year. Climate change, combined with current societal trends in 2 uptake. land use and forest management, is projected to reduce this rate of forest CO 2 Bioenergy could emerge as a new market for wood and could aid in the restoration of forests killed by drought, insects, and fire. - Forest management responses to climate change will be influenced by the changing nature of private forestland owner ship, globalization of forestry markets, emerging markets for bioenergy, and U.S. climate change policy. Forests occur within urban areas, at the interface between urban and rural areas (wildland-urban interface), and in rural areas. Urban forests contribute to clean air, cooling buildings, aesthetics, and recreation in parks. Development in the wildland-urban interface is increasing because of the appeal of owning homes near or in the woods. In rural areas, mar - ket factors drive land uses among commercial forestry and land uses such as agriculture. Across this spectrum, forests 6 provide recreational opportunities, cultural resources, and social values such as aesthetics. Forest Growth Provides an Important Carbon Sink Forests provide the important ecosystem service of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. Forests are the largest component of the U.S. carbon sink, but growth rates of forests vary widely across the country. Well-watered forests of the Pacific Coast and Southeast absorb considerably more than the arid Southwestern forests or the colder Northeastern forests. Climate change and disturbance rates, combined with current societal trends regarding land use and forest management, are projected to reduce forest CO uptake in the coming decades. Figure shows forest growth as measured by net primary production in tons of carbon per hectare 2 7 per year, and are averages from 2000 to 2006 (Figure source: adapted from Running et al. 2004 ). 52

61 Economic factors have historically influenced both the overall area and use of private forestland. Private entities own 56% of 8 Market U.S. forestlands while 44% of forests are on public lands. factors can influence management objectives for public lands, but societal values also influence objectives by identifying benefits such as environmental services not ordinarily provided through markets, like watershed protection and wildlife habitat. Different challenges and opportunities exist for public and for private forest management decisions, especially when climate-related issues are considered on a national scale. For example, public forests typi - cally carry higher levels of forest biomass, are more remote, and 6 tend not to be as intensively managed as private forestlands. Forests provide opportunities to reduce future climate change by capturing and storing carbon, as well as by providing resources for bioenergy production (the use of forest-derived plant-based ma - Climate change is increasing vulnerability to wildfires terials for energy production). The total amount of carbon stored across the western U.S. and Alaska. in U.S. forest ecosystems and wood products (such as lumber and pulpwood) equals roughly 25 years of U.S. heat-trapping gas emissions at current rates of emission, providing an important national “sink” that could grow or shrink depending on 9 the extent of climate change, forest management practices, policy decisions, and other factors. istur Bance F orest d Fire is another important forest disturbance. Given Factors affecting tree death, such as drought, strong relationships between climate and fire, even physiological water stress, higher temperatures, and/ when modified by land use and management, such as or pests and pathogens, are often interrelated, which means that isolating a single cause of mortality is fuel treatments, projected climate changes suggest that 10 rare. western forests in the U.S. will be increasingly affected However, in western forests there have been 13,15 recent large scale die-off events due to one or more of by large and intense fires that occur more frequently. 11,12,13 and rates of tree mortality are well these factors, correlated with both rising temperatures and associated 14 increases in evaporative water demand. Warmer winters allow more insects to survive the cold season, A Montana saw mill owner inspects a lodgepole pine covered and a longer summer allows some insects to complete two life - in pitch tubes that show the tree trying, unsuccessfully, to de cycles in a year instead of one. Drought stress reduces trees’ fend itself against the bark beetle. The bark beetle is killing ability to defend against boring insects. Above, beetle-killed lodgepole pines throughout the western United States. trees in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. 53

62 Finding 10: ECOSYSTEMS K ey M essages : L and se over hange c c and u and L Choices about land-use and land-cover patterns have affected and - will continue to affect how vulnerable or resilient human communi ties and ecosystems are to the effects of climate change. Land-use and land-cover changes affect local, regional, and global climate processes. Individuals, businesses, non-profits, and governments have the capacity to make land-use decisions to adapt to the effects of climate change. Choices about land use and land management may provide a means of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Land-use and land-cover changes affect climate processes. Above, development along Colorado’s Front Range. - In addition to emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from energy, industrial, agricultural, and other activities, hu mans affect climate through changes in land use (activities taking place on land, like growing food, cutting trees, or building cities) and land cover (the physical characteristics of the land surface, including grain crops, trees, or concrete). For example, cities are warmer than the surrounding countryside because the greater extent of paved areas in cities affects how water and energy are exchanged between the land and the atmosphere, and how exposed the population is to extreme heat events. Decisions about land use and land cover can therefore affect, positively or negatively, how much our climate will change, and what kind of vulnerabilities humans and natural systems will face as a result. The combination of residential location choices with wildfire occurrence dramatically illustrates how the interactions between land use and climate processes can affect climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. Low-density (suburban and 16 One result is a rise in the exurban) housing patterns in the U.S. have expanded, and are projected to continue to expand. 17 that in turn has increased the exposure of houses, other structures, amount of construction in forests and other wildlands and people to damages from wildfires. The number of buildings lost in the 25 most destructive fires in California history 18 These increased significantly in the 1990s and 2000s compared to the previous three decades, as shown in the figure. losses are one example of how changing development patterns can interact with a changing climate to create dramatic new risks. In the western U.S., increasing frequencies of large wildfires and longer wildfire durations are strongly associated with 19 increased spring and summer temperatures and an earlier spring snowmelt. Building Loss by Fires at California Wildland-Urban Interfaces Many forested areas in the U.S. have experienced a recent building boom in what is known as the “wildland-urban interface.” This figure shows the number of buildings lost from the 25 most destructive wildland-urban interface fires in California history from 1960 to 2007 Construction near forests and wildlands is growing. Here, wildfire 18 ). (Figure source: Stephens et al. 2009 approaches a housing development. 54

63 Mica M yc Les c L ey iogeoche : B K essages Human activities have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide by about 40% over pre-industrial levels and more than doubled the amount of nitrogen available to ecosystems. Similar trends have been observed for phosphorus and other elements, and these changes have major consequences for biogeochemical cycles and climate change. In total, land in the U.S. absorbs and stores an amount of carbon equivalent to about 17% of annual U.S. fossil fuel emissions. U.S. forests and associated wood products account for most of this land sink. The effect of this carbon and other greenhouse gases. storage is to partially offset warming from emissions of CO 2 Altered biogeochemical cycles together with climate change increase the vulnerability of biodiversity, food security, human health, and water quality to changing climate. However, natural and managed shifts in major biogeochemical cycles can help limit rates of climate change. Biogeochemical cycles involve the fluxes of chemical elements among Many Factors Combine to Affect different parts of the Earth: from Biogeochemical Cycles - living to non-living, from atmo sphere to land to sea, and from soils to plants. Human activities have mobilized Earth elements and accelerated their cycles – for example, more than doubling the amount of reactive nitrogen that has been added to the biosphere 20 since pre-industrial times. - Global-scale alterations of bio geochemical cycles are occurring from human activities, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, with impacts and implications now and into the future. Global carbon dioxide emissions are the most significant driver of human-caused climate change. But human-accelerated - cycles of other elements, espe cially nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, also influence climate. Human activities alter the cycling of carbon dioxide and other elements through the whole Earth These elements can affect climate system, affecting climate. The top panel shows the impact of the alteration of the carbon cycle directly and indirectly, amplifying in the atmosphere exerts a warming influence, illustrated by the plus sign, alone. Added CO 2 or reducing the impacts of climate while carbon storage in plant material and soils has the opposite effect. change. Climate change is having, The bottom panel shows the impacts of the alteration of the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycles. and will continue to have, impacts Some of these increase warming while others decrease it, indicated by the plus and minus on biogeochemical cycles, which ) is a fertilizer and thus likely to increase plant growth, de - signs. For example, ammonia (NH 3 will alter future impacts on climate creasing the warming influence. On the other hand, it also leads to soil acidification, decreasing and affect our capacity to cope with nutrients and therefore adding to the warming influence. - coupled changes in climate, biogeo chemistry, and other factors. 55

64 Finding 10: ECOSYSTEMS Finding 10: ECOSYSTEMS s p e c i e s r e s p o n s e s C onifers in many western forests have died, experiencing beds have ussel and barnacle M mortality rates up to 87%, declined or disappeared along parts from warming-induced of the Northwest coast due to higher changes in the prevalence 21 . temperatures and drier conditions of pests and pathogens 12 and drought stress. I n response to climate- related habitat change, many have small mammal species altered their ranges, with lower-elevation species uaking aspen tree Q survival D ecreases in the weight and expanding their ranges and dominated systems are along the of polar bear offspring higher-elevation species experiencing declines in north Alaska coast have been linked to 23 . contracting their ranges the western U.S. due to changes in mother’s body size and/or drought stress during condition following years with lower 24 22 the last decade. availability of optimal sea ice habitat. reduced armer springs in Alaska have W calving success in caribou populations as a result of earlier onset of plant emergence and decreased spatial variation in growth and availability of 25 forage to breeding caribou. C limate change is likely to influence as elevational patterns in vegetation Hawaiian mountain vegetation types vary in their sensitivity to changes in 26 moisture availability. 56

65 c h a n g e to c l i m at e arming-induced interbreeding W was detected between southern and in the Great flying squirrels northern Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania after a series of warm winters created more overlap in their 27 habitat ranges. n the Northwest Atlantic, 24 out of I - plant spe F irst flowering dates showed 36 commercial fish stocks cies in North Dakota have shifted significant range shifts, both in latitude significantly in more than 40% of and depth, between 1968 and 2007 in the 178 species examined, with response to increased sea surface and 29 the greatest changes observed bottom temperatures. during the two warmest years of 28 the study. idespread declines in body size of W in western resident and migrant birds Pennsylvania were documented over a 40- tudies of black ratsnake S year period. The higher the average regional populations in Illinois and temperatures in the preceding year, the Texas suggest that snake 31 smaller the birds. populations, particularly in the northern parts of their ranges, could benefit from rising temperatures if there are no negative impacts on eedling survival for nearly S 30 their habitat and prey. 20 species of trees decreased during years of lower rainfall in the Southern Appalachians and the Piedmont areas, indicating 33 reductions in native species. limatic fluctuations increase the C that infidelity in birds probability of are normally monogamous. This increases gene exchange and the 32 likelihood of offspring survival. S ome warm-water fishes have moved northwards, and some tropical and subtropical fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico have increased in temperate 34 Similar shifts and invasions have been ocean habitat. documented in Long Island Sound and Narragansett 35 Bay in the Atlantic Ocean. 57

66 FINDING OCEANS 11 Ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, broadly affecting ocean circulation, chemistry, ecosystems, and marine life. ore acidic waters inhibit the formation of shells, skeletons, and coral reefs. Warmer waters harm coral reefs and alter M the distribution, abundance, and productivity of many marine species. The rising temperature and changing chemistry of ocean water combine with other stresses, such as overfishing and coastal and marine pollution, to alter marine-based food production and harm fishing communities. K M ey essages ceans : o The rise in ocean temperature over the last century will persist into the future, with continued large impacts on climate, ocean circulation, chemistry, and ecosystems. The ocean currently absorbs about a quarter of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, leading to ocean acidification that will alter marine ecosystems in dramatic yet uncertain ways. Significant habitat loss will continue to occur due to climate change for many species and areas, including Arctic and coral reef ecosystems, while habitat in other areas and for other species will expand. These changes will consequently alter the distribution, abundance, and productivity of many marine species. Rising sea surface temperatures have been linked with increasing levels and ranges of diseases in humans and marine life, including corals, abalones, oysters, fishes, and marine mammals. Climate changes that result in conditions substantially different from recent history may significantly increase costs to businesses as well as disrupt public access and enjoyment of ocean areas. In response to observed and projected climate impacts, some existing ocean policies, practices, and management efforts are incorporating climate change impacts. These initiatives can serve as models for other efforts and ultimately enable people and communities to adapt to changing ocean conditions. - As a nation, we depend on the oceans for seafood, rec - Oceans support vibrant economies and coastal commu reation and tourism, cultural heritage, transportation of nities with numerous businesses and jobs. More than 160 - goods, and, increasingly, energy and other critical resourc million people live in the coastal watershed counties of the es. The U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone extends 200 nautical U.S., and population in this zone is expected to grow in the miles seaward from the coasts, spanning an area about future. The oceans help regulate climate, absorb carbon 1.7 times the land area of the continental United States. dioxide, and strongly influence weather patterns far into This vast region is host to a rich diversity of marine plants the continental interior. Ocean issues touch all of us in 1,2 and animals and a wide range of ecosystems, from tropical both direct and indirect ways. coral reefs to Arctic waters covered with sea ice. Observed Ocean Warming Sea surface temperatures for the ocean surrounding the U.S. and its territories have risen by more than 0.9°F 3 over the past century. (Figure source: adapted from Chavez et al. 2011 ). 58

67 Changing climate conditions are already affecting these valuable marine ecosystems and the array of resources and services we derive from the sea. Some climate trends, such as rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification, are common across much of the coastal areas and open ocean worldwide. The biological responses to climate change often vary from region to region, depending on the different combinations of species, habitats, and other attributes of local systems. Ocean Impacts of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide As heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO ) (panel A), have increased over the past decades, 2 not only has air temperature increased worldwide, but so has the ocean surface temperature (panel B). The increased ocean temperature, combined with melting of glaciers and ice sheets on land, is leading to higher sea levels (panel C). Increased air and ocean temperatures are also causing the continued, dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice during the summer (panel D). Additionally, the ocean is becoming more acidic as increased at - mospheric CO dissolves into it (panel E). (CO data from Etheridge 2010, Tans and Keeling 2012, and NOAA 2 2 NCDC 2012; SST data from NOAA NCDC 2012 and Smith et al. 2008; Sea level data from CSIRO 2012 and 4,5 Church and White 2011; Sea ice data from University of Illinois 2012; pH data from Doney et al. 2012 ). 59

68 Finding 11: OCEANS The oceans cover more than two-thirds of the Earth’s ing the South Atlantic. A slowdown of the Conveyor Belt surface and play a very important role in regulating the would increase regional sea level rise along the east coast Earth’s climate and in climate change. Today, the world’s of the U.S. and change temperature patterns in Europe oceans absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by and rainfall in Africa and the Americas, but would not lead and other greenhouse gases in the to global cooling. increasing levels of CO 2 atmosphere due to human activities. This extra energy warms the ocean, causing it to expand and sea levels to Warming ocean waters also affect marine ecosystems like rise. Of the global sea level rise observed over the last coral reefs, which can be very sensitive to temperature 35 years, about 40% is due to this warming of the water. changes. When water temperatures become too high, Most of the rest is due to the melting of glaciers and ice coral expel the algae (called zooxanthellae) which help sheets. Ocean levels are projected to rise another 1 to 4 nourish them and give them their vibrant color. This is feet over this century, with the precise number largely known as coral bleaching. If the high temperatures persist, depending on the amount of global temperature rise and the coral die. polar ice sheet melt. Acidification Observations from past climate combined with climate In addition to the warming, the acidity of seawater is . model projections of the future suggest that over the next increasing as a direct result of increasing atmospheric CO 2 has Due to human-induced emissions, atmospheric CO 100 years the Atlantic Ocean’s overturning circulation 2 5,6 About a risen by about 40% above pre-industrial levels. (known as the “Ocean Conveyor Belt”) could slow down has dissolved into the oceans, quarter of this excess CO as a result of climate change. These ocean currents carry 2 thereby changing seawater chemistry and decreasing pH warm water northward across the equator in the Atlantic 2,7 There has been about (making seawater more acidic). - Ocean, warming the North Atlantic (and Europe) and cool a 30% increase in surface ocean acidity 8 Ocean acid - since pre-industrial times. Coral Bleaching ification will continue in the future due to the interaction of atmospheric CO 2 and ocean water. Regional differences in ocean pH occur as a result of variability in regional or local conditions, such as upwelling that brings subsurface waters 9 Locally, coastal waters up to the surface. and estuaries can also exhibit acidification as the result of pollution and excess nutrient inputs. More acidic waters create repercussions - along the marine food chain. The chemi cal changes caused by the uptake of CO 2 make it more difficult for living things to form and maintain calcium carbonate shells and skeletons and increases erosion 10 resulting in alterations in of coral reefs, marine ecosystems that will become more - severe as present-day trends in acidifi 11 Tropical cation continue or accelerate. corals are particularly susceptible to the combination of ocean acidification and ocean warming, which would threaten the rich and biologically diverse coral reef habitats. See page 33. (Photo) Bleached brain coral; (Maps) The global extent and severity of mass coral bleaching have increased worldwide over the last decade. Red dots indicate severe 12 bleaching. (Figure source: Marshall and Schuttenberg 2006; Photo credit: NOAA). 60

69 Ocean Acidification Reduces Size of Clams These 36-day-old clams are a single species, ) , grown in the laboratory under varying levels of carbon dioxide (CO Mercenaria mercenaria 2 is absorbed from the air by ocean water, acidifying the water and thus reducing the ability of juvenile clams to grow their in the air. CO 2 levels are smaller than those grown under shells. As seen in the photos, 36-day-old clams (measured in microns) grown under elevated CO 2 levels. The highest CO lower CO level, about 1500 parts per million (ppm; far right), is higher than most projections for the end of this cen - 2 2 13 tury but could occur locally in some estuaries. (Figure source: Talmage and Gobler 2010 ). Fisheries Shifting North Diseases There has been a significant increase in reported inci - dences of disease in corals, urchins, mollusks, marine mammals, turtles, and echinoderms (a group of some 70,000 marine species including sea stars, sea urchins, 14,15 and sand dollars) over the last several decades. Increasing disease outbreaks in the ocean affecting ecologically important species, which provide critically important habitat for other species such as corals, Ocean species are shifting northward along U.S. coastlines as ocean algae, and eelgrass, have been linked with rising tem - temperatures rise. As a result, over the past 40 years, more northern 15,16,17 Disease increases mortality and can peratures. ports have gradually increased their landings of four marine species reduce abundance for affected populations as well as compared to earlier landings. While some species move northward out of an area, other species move in from the south. This kind of information fundamentally change ecosystems by altering habitat can inform decisions about how to adapt to climate change. Such or species relationships. For example, loss of eelgrass adaptations take time and have costs, as local knowledge and equipment beds due to disease can reduce critical nursery habitat 17,18 are geared to the species that have long been present in an area. (Figure for several species of commercially important fish. 19 ). source: adapted from Pinsky and Fogerty 2012 61

70 FINDING 12 RESPONSES Planning for adaptation (to address and prepare for impacts) and mitigation (to reduce future climate change, for example by cutting emissions) is becoming more widespread, but current implementation efforts are insufficient to avoid increasingly negative social, environmental, and economic consequences. A ctions to reduce emissions, increase carbon uptake, adapt to a changing climate, and increase resilience to impacts that are unavoidable can improve public health, economic development, ecosystem protection, and quality of life. Is climate changing ?” to “ Can society manage unavoidable changes and Over the past few years, the focus moved from “ 1,2 Research demonstrates that both mitigation (efforts to reduce future climate changes) avoid unmanageable changes ?” and adaptation (efforts to reduce the vulnerability of society to climate change impacts) are needed in order to minimize the damages from human-caused climate change and to adapt to the pace and ultimate magnitude of changes that will 3 Adaptation and mitigation are closely linked; adaptation efforts will be more difficult, more costly, and less likely occur. 2,4 to succeed if significant mitigation actions are not taken. ey daptation M K : a essages Substantial adaptation planning is occurring in the public and private sectors and at all levels of government; however, few measures have been implemented and those that have appear to be incremental changes. - Barriers to implementation of adaptation include limited funding, policy and legal impediments, and difficulty in antici pating climate related changes at local scales. There is no “one-size fits all” adaptation, but there are similarities in approaches across regions and sectors. Sharing best practices, learning by doing, and iterative and collaborative processes including stakeholder involvement, can help support progress. Climate change adaptation actions often fulfill other societal goals, such as sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, or improvements in quality of life, and can therefore be incorporated into existing decision-making processes. Vulnerability to climate change is exacerbated by other stresses such as pollution and habitat fragmentation. Adaptation to multiple stresses requires assessment of the composite threats as well as tradeoffs amongst costs, benefits, and risks of available options. The effectiveness of climate change adaptation has seldom been evaluated, because actions have only recently been initiated, and comprehensive evaluation metrics do not yet exist. Adaptation actions can be implemented reactively, after cies are all required to plan for adaptation. Actions include changes in climate occur, or proactively, to prepare for a coordinated efforts at the White House, regional and 5 Proactively preparing can reduce the changing climate. cross-sector efforts, agency-specific adaptation plans, and - harm from certain climate change impacts, such as increas support for local-level adaptation planning and action. ingly intense extreme events, shifting zones for agricultural States have become important actors in nation - STATE: crops, and rising sea levels, while also facilitating a more al climate change related efforts. State governments can rapid and efficient response to changes as they happen. create policies and programs that encourage or discourage A November 2013 Executive Order calls for, FEDERAL: adaptation at other governance scales (such as counties or 7 through regulation and by serving as laboratories among other things, modernizing federal programs to regions) 8 Although many of these actions are not for innovation. support climate resilient investments, managing lands and specifically designed to address climate change, they often waters for climate preparedness and resilience, creating a include climate adaptation components. Many state level Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and the - climate change-specific adaptation actions focus on plan creation of a State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force 6 Federal agen - ning. As of winter 2012, at least 15 states had completed on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. 62

71 eral, state, tribal, and local actions appear in the Adapta - climate adaptation plans; four states are in the process of tion chapter of the full National Climate Assessment. writing their plans; and seven states have made recom - 9 mendations to create state-wide adaptation plans. Adaptation to climate change is in a nascent stage. The TRIBES: - Tribal governments have been particular federal government is beginning to develop institutions ly active in assessing and preparing for the impacts of and practices necessary to cope with climate change. climate change. Some are using traditional knowledge While the federal government will remain the funder of gleaned from elders, stories, and songs and combining emergency responses following extreme events for which this knowledge with downscaled climate data to inform communities were not adequately prepared, an emerg - 10 Others have integrated climate change decision-making. ing federal role is to enable and facilitate early adaptation into decision-making in major sectors, such as education, within states, regions, local communities, and the public 5 11 The approaches include working to fisheries, social services, and human health. and private sectors. limit current institutional constraints to effective adapta - Most adaptation efforts to date have occurred at LOCAL: tion, funding pilot projects, providing useful and usable - local and regional levels. A survey of 298 U.S. local gov adaptation information – including disseminating best ernments shows 59% engaged in some form of adapta - practices, and helping develop tools and techniques to 12 Mechanisms used by local governments tion planning. evaluate successful adaptation. to prepare for climate change include: land-use planning; - provisions to protect infrastructure and ecosystems; reg - Despite emerging efforts, the pace and extent of adapta ulations related to the design and construction of build - tion activities are not proportional to the risks to people, ings, road, and bridges; and preparation for emergency property, infrastructure, and ecosystems from climate 13 Local adaptation planning and response and recovery. change; important opportunities available during the nor - actions are unfolding in municipalities of different sizes. mal course of planning and management of resources are - Regional agencies and regional aggregations of govern - also being overlooked. A number of state and local govern 14 ments too are taking actions. ments are engaging in adaptation planning, but most have 17 Some compa - not taken action to implement the plans. Many companies are concerned about how BUSINESS: nies in the private sector and numerous non-governmen - climate change will affect feedstock, water quality, infra - tal organizations have also taken early action, particularly structure, core operations, supply chains, and customers’ in capitalizing on the opportunities associated with facil - 15 Some companies are ability to use products and services. itating adaptive actions. Actions and collaborations have taking action to avoid risk and explore potential opportu - occurred across all scales. At the same time, barriers to nities, such as: developing or expanding into new prod - effective implementation continue to exist. ucts, services, and operational areas; extending growing seasons and hours of operation; and xAmpl E Ation dApt A E : responding to increased demand for 15,16 existing products and services. The Southeast Florida Regional Compact The Southeast Florida NGO s: Non-governmental organi - Regional Compact is a zations have played significant roles joint commitment among in the national effort to prepare for Broward, Miami-Dade, climate change by providing assis - Palm Beach, and Monroe tance to stakeholders that includes Counties to partner in re - planning guidance, implementa - ducing heat-trapping gas emissions and adapting to tion tools, explanations of climate - climate impacts, includ information, best practices, and Miami-Dade County staff leading workshop on incorporating ing in transportation, help with bridging the science-policy climate change considerations in local planning. water resources, natural divide. resources, agriculture, and disaster risk reduction. Through the collaboration of county, state, and federal agencies, a comprehensive action plan was developed See regional sections of this High - that includes hundreds of actions. Notable policies include regional collabora - lights report for additional examples tion to revise building codes and land development regulations to discourage 18 of adaptation efforts. Selected fed - new development or post-disaster redevelopment in vulnerable areas. 63

72 Finding 12: RESPONSES ey itigation : M essages M K Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by natural processes at a rate that is roughly half of the current rate of emissions from human activities. Therefore, mitigation efforts that only stabilize global emissions will not reduce atmo - spheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, but will only limit their rate of increase. The same is true for other long-lived greenhouse gases. To meet the lower emissions scenario (B1) used in this assessment, global mitigation actions would need to limit global carbon dioxide emissions to a peak of around 44 billion tons per year within the next 25 years and decline thereafter. In 2011, global emissions were around 34 billion tons, and have been rising by about 0.9 billion tons per year for the past decade. Therefore, the world is on a path to exceed 44 billion tons per year within a decade. Over recent decades, the U.S. economy has emitted a decreasing amount of carbon dioxide per dollar of gross domestic product. Between 2008 and 2012, there was also a decline in the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted annually from energy use in the U.S. as a result of a variety of factors, including changes in the economy, the development of new energy production technologies, and various government policies. Carbon storage in land ecosystems, especially forests, has offset around 17% of annual U.S. fossil fuel emissions of greenhouse gases over the past several decades, but this carbon “sink” may not be sustainable. Both voluntary activities and a variety of policies and measures that lower emissions are currently in place at federal, - state, and local levels in the U.S., even though there is no comprehensive national climate legislation. Over the remain der of this century, aggressive and sustained greenhouse gas emission reductions by the U.S. and by other nations will be needed to reduce global emissions to a level consistent with the lower scenario (B1) analyzed in this assessment. The amount of future climate change will largely be deter - emissions, changing subsidy programs, and direct federal mined by choices society makes about emissions. Lower expenditures. Market-based approaches include cap-and- emissions of heat trapping gases and particles mean less trade programs that establish markets for trading emissions future warming and less severe impacts; higher emissions permits, analogous to the Clean Air Act provisions for sulfur mean more warming and more severe impacts. Efforts to dioxide reductions. - limit emissions or increase carbon uptake fall into a cate gory of response options known as “mitigation.” None of these price-based measures has been implement - ed at the national level in the U.S., though cap-and-trade - Carbon dioxide accounted for 84% of total U.S. green systems are in place in California and in the Northeast’s 19 The vast majority (97%) of house gas emissions in 2011. - Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. A wide range of gov comes from energy use. Thus, the most direct this CO ernmental actions are underway at federal, state, region - 2 - way to reduce future climate change is to reduce emis al, and city levels using other measures, as are voluntary sions from the energy sector by using energy more effi - efforts, that can reduce the U.S. contribution to total ciently and switching to lower carbon energy sources. global emissions. Many, if not most of these programs are - motivated by other policy objectives – energy, transporta - In 2011, 41% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions were attrib tion, and air pollution – but some are directed specifically utable to liquid fuels (petroleum), followed closely by solid at greenhouse gas emissions, including: fuels (principally coal in electric generation), and to a less - 19 emissions from Electric power generation (coal er extent by natural gas. Reduction in CO Energy Efficiency: • 2 - and gas) and transportation (petroleum) are the sectors energy end-use and infrastructure through the adop tion of energy-efficient components and systems – predominantly responsible. including buildings, vehicles, manufacturing processes, Achieving the lower emissions path (B1) analyzed in this applicances, and electric grid systems; assessment would require substantial decarbonization of - emis • Low-Carbon Energy Sources: Reduction of CO the global economy by the end of this century, implying a 2 sions from energy supply through the promotion of fundamental transformation of the global energy system. renewables (such as wind, solar, and bioenergy), nucle - The principal types of national actions that could effect ar energy, and coal and natural gas electric generation - such changes include putting a price on emissions, set with carbon capture and storage; and ting regulations and standards for activities that cause 64

73 Programs underway that reduce carbon dioxide emissions include the promotion of solar, nuclear, and wind power, and efficient vehicles. 21 Reduction of emissions of non- Non-CO • builds on these Emissions: The Administration’s Climate Action Plan 2 greenhouse gases and black carbon (soot); for activities with a broad range of mitigation, adaptation, CO 2 - example, by lowering methane emissions from ener and preparedness measures. The mitigation elements of gy and waste, transitioning to climate-friendly alter - the plan are in part a response to the commitment made natives to HFCs, cutting methane and nitrous oxide during the 2010 Cancun Conference of the Parties of the emissions from agriculture, and improving combustion United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change efficiency and means of particulate capture. to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases by about 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. Actions proposed in the Plan include: Federal Actions The Federal Government has implemented a number of • limiting carbon emissions from both new and existing - measures that promote energy efficiency, clean technolo power plants; 20 Sample federal measures are gies, and alternative fuels. • continuing to increase the stringency of fuel economy provided in Table 27.1 in the Mitigation chapter in the full standards for automobiles and trucks; report. These actions include greenhouse gas regulations, • continuing to improve energy efficiency in the build - - other rules and regulations with climate co-benefits, var ings sector; greenhouse gases ious standards and subsidies, research and development, • reducing the emissions of non-CO 2 through a variety of measures; and federal procurement practices. • increasing federal investments in cleaner, more effi - cient energy sources for both power and transporta - For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has the tion; and authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the • identifying new approaches to protect and restore our Clean Air Act. The Department of Energy provides most forests and other critical landscapes, in the presence of the funding for energy research and development, and of a changing climate. also regulates the efficiency of appliances. a For Fits ene -B o c p oLL ution and ir h ea Lth h uMan Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can yield co-benefits for objectives apart from climate change, such as energy secu - 22 In particular, there rity, ecosystem services, and biodiversity. are health co-benefits from reductions in air pollution. Because greenhouse gases and other air pollutants share common sources, particularly from fossil fuel combustion, actions to reduce green - house gas emissions also reduce other air pollutants. - The human health benefits can be immediate and local, in con 23 trast to the long-term and widespread effects of climate change. 23,24 Methane These efforts have been found to be cost effective. reductions have also been shown to generate health benefits from Actions to reduce greenhouse gases can also reduce 25 reduced ground-level ozone. other air pollutants, yielding human health benefits. 65

74 Finding 12: RESPONSES City, State, and Regional Actions Voluntary Actions Jurisdiction for greenhouse gases and energy policies is Corporations, individuals, and non-profit organizations 26 For shared between the Federal government and states. have initiated a host of voluntary actions, including: example, states regulate the distribution of electricity and - natural gas to consumers, while the Federal Energy Reg • The Carbon Disclosure Project enables companies to - ulatory Commission regulates wholesale sales and trans measure, disclose, manage, and share climate change portation of natural gas and electricity. Many states have and water-use information. Some 650 U.S. signatories adopted climate initiatives as well as energy policies that - include banks, pension funds, asset managers, insur reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For a survey of many ance companies, and foundations. of these state activities, see Table 27.2 in the full report. • More than 1,055 municipalities from all 50 states have Many cities are taking similar actions. signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agree - 27 and many of these communities are actively ment, implementing strategies to reduce their emissions. The most ambitious state activity is California’s Global • Federal voluntary programs include Energy STAR, a - Warming Solutions Act, with a goal of reducing green labeling program that, among other things, identifies house gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The program energy efficient products for use in residences and caps emissions and uses a market-based system of trad - commercial and industrial buildings. ing in emissions credits, as well as a number of regulatory actions. The most well-known, multi-state effort has been the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), formed by Managing Land for Mitigation 10 northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states (though New Jer - Mitigation can involve increasing the uptake of carbon sey exited in 2011). RGGI is a cap-and-trade system in the through various means of expanding carbon sinks on land power sector directing revenue from allowance auctions through management of forests and soils. to investments in efficiency and renewable energy. s eLected M itigation M easures Existing federal laws and regulations to reduce emissions include: Emissions Standards for Vehicles and Engines For light-duty vehicles, rules establishing • standards for 2012-2016 model years and 2017-2025 model years. • For heavy- and medium-duty trucks, a rule establishing standards for 2014-2018 model years. Appliance and Building Efficiency Standards • Energy efficiency standards and test proce - dures for residential, commercial, industrial, lighting, and plumbing products. • Model residential and commercial building energy codes, and technical assistance to state and local governments, and non-govern - mental organizations. Weatherization can include installing more efficient windows to save Financial Incentives for Efficiency and Alternative energy. Fuels and Technology • Weatherization assistance for low-income households, tax incentives for commercial and residential buildings and efficient appliances, and support for state and local efficiency programs. 66

75 essages : d upport s ecision M ey K Decisions about how to address climate change can be complex, and responses will require a combination of adaptation and mitigation actions. Decision-makers – whether individuals, public officials, or others – may need help integrating scientific information into adaptation and mitigation decisions. To be effective, decision support processes need to take account of the values and goals of the key stakeholders, evolv - ing scientific information, and the perceptions of risk. Many decision support processes and tools are available. They can enable decision-makers to identify and assess response options, apply complex and uncertain information, clarify trade-offs, strengthen transparency, and generate information on the costs and benefits of different choices. - Ongoing assessment processes should incorporate evaluation of decision support tools, their accessibility to deci sion-makers, and their application in decision processes in different sectors and regions. Steps to improve collaborative decision processes include developing new decision support tools and building human capacity to bridge science and decision-making. As a result of human-induced climate change, historically successful strategies for managing climate-sensitive resources and infrastructure will become less effective over time. Decision support processes and tools can help structure decision-making, organize and analyze information, and build consensus around options for action. Although decision-makers routinely make complex decisions under uncertain conditions, decision-making in the context of climate change can be especially challenging. Reasons include the rapid pace of changes, long time lags between human activities and response of the climate system, the high economic and political stakes, the number and diversity of potentially affected stakeholders, the need to incorporate uncertain scientific information of varying confidence levels, 28,29 The social, economic, psychological, and political dimensions of and the values of stakeholders and decision-makers. these decisions underscore the need for ways to improve communication of scientific information and uncertainties and to help decision-makers assess risks and opportunities. Decision-Making Elements and Outcomes Decisions take place within a complex context. Decision support processes and tools can help structure decision-making, organize and analyze information, and build consensus around options for action. 67

76 Finding 12: RESPONSES The importance of both Collaboration: Decision-Making Framework scientific information and societal considerations suggests the need for the public, technical experts, and decision-makers to engage in mutual shared learning and 29,30 shared production of relevant knowledge. Uncertainty: An “iterative adaptive risk management framework” is useful for decisions about adaptation and ways to reduce future climate change, especially given uncertainties and ongoing advances 31 An idealized in scientific understanding. iterative adaptive risk management process includes clearly defining the issue, establishing decision criteria, identifying and incorporating relevant information, evaluating options, and monitoring and revisiting effectiveness. This illustration highlights several stages of a well-structured decision-making pro - 31 cess. (Figure source: adapted from NRC 2010 and Willows and Connell 2003 ). Making effective climate- Risk Management: related decisions requires balance among actions intended to manage, reduce, and transfer risk. Risks are threats to life, health and safety, the environment, economic well-being, and other things of value. Methods such as multiple criteria analysis, valuation of both risks and opportunities, and scenarios can help to combine experts’ assessment of climate change risks with public perception of 32 these risks. Decision Support Case Study: Denver Water Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the Denver Water system. Due to recent and anticipated ef - fects of climate variability and change on water availability, Denver Water faces the chal - lenge of weighing alternative response strategies and is looking at developing options to help meet more challenging future conditions. Denver Water is using scenario - planning in its long-range plan ning process (looking out to 2050) to consider a range of plausible futures involving climate change, demographic and water use changes, and economic and regulatory changes. The strategy focuses on keeping as many future options open as possible while trying to ensure reliability of current supplies. The next step for Denver Water is to explore a more technical approach to test their existing plan and identified 33 options against multiple climate change scenarios. Following a modified robust decision-making approach, Denver Water will test and hedge its plan and options until those options demonstrate that they can sufficiently handle a range of projected climate conditions. 68

77 REGIONS Evidence of climate change can be found in every region, and impacts are visible in every state. Americans are seeing changes such as species moving northward, increases in invasive species and insect outbreaks, and changes in the length of the growing season. In many cities, impacts to the urban environment are closely linked to the changing climate, with increased flooding, greater incidence of heat waves, and diminished air quality. Along most of our coastlines, increasing sea levels and associated threats to coastal areas and infrastructure are becoming a common experience. The pages that follow provide a summary of changes and impacts that are observed and anticipated in each of the eight regions of the United States, as well as in rural and coastal areas. 69

78 NORTHEAST essages M ey K - Heat waves, coastal flooding, and river flooding will pose a growing challenge to the region’s envi - ronmental, social, and economic systems. This will increase the vulnerability of the region’s resi dents, especially its most disadvantaged populations. Infrastructure will be increasingly compromised by climate-related hazards, including sea level rise, coastal flooding, and intense precipitation events. Agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised over the next century by climate change impacts. Farmers can explore new crop options, but these adaptations are not cost- or risk-free. Moreover, adaptive capacity, which varies throughout the region, could be overwhelmed by a changing climate. While a majority of states and a rapidly growing number of municipalities have begun to incorporate the risk of climate change into their planning activities, implementation of adaptation measures is still at early stages. ixty-four million people are concentrated in the S Urban Heat Island - Northeast. The high-density urban coastal corri dor from Washington, D.C., north to Boston is one of the most developed environments in the world. It contains a massive, complex, and long-standing network of supporting infrastructure. The North - east also has a vital rural component, including - large expanses of sparsely populated but ecologi cally and agriculturally important areas. Although urban and rural regions in the North - east are profoundly different, they both include populations that are highly vulnerable to climate hazards and other stresses. The region depends on aging infrastructure that has already been stressed by climate hazards including heat waves and heavy downpours. The Northeast has experi - - enced a greater recent increase in extreme precip itation than any other region in the U.S.; between 1958 and 2010, the Northeast saw more than a 70% increase in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (defined as the heaviest 1% 1 This increase, combined with of all daily events). coastal and riverine flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge, creates increased risks. For all of Surface temperatures in New York City on a summer’s day show the these reasons, public health, agriculture, transpor - - “urban heat island,” with temperatures in populous urban areas being ap tation, communications, and energy systems in proximately 10°F higher than the forested parts of Central Park. Dark blue the Northeast all face climate-related challenges. reflects the colder waters of the Hudson and East Rivers. (Figure source: Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University). 70

79 Hurricane Vulnerability Hurricanes Irene and Sandy demonstrated the region’s vulnerability to extreme weather events and the potential for adaptation to reduce impacts. Hurricane Irene produced a broad swath of very heavy rain (greater than 5 inches in total and 2 to 3 inches per hour in some locations) from southern Maryland to northern Vermont from August 27 to 29, 2011. These heavy rains were part of a broader pattern of wet weather preceding the storm that exacerbated the flooding. In anticipation of Irene, the New York City mass transit system was shut down, and 2.3 million coastal residents in Delaware, New Jersey, and New York faced mandatory evacuations. But inland impacts, especially in upstate New York and in central and southern Vermont, were most se - vere. Flash flooding washed out roads and bridges, undermined railroads, Sea Level is Rising brought down trees and power lines, flooded homes and businesses, and - damaged floodplain forests. Hazard ous wastes were released in a number of areas, and 17 municipal wastewater treatment plants were breached by the floodwaters. Crops were flooded and many towns and villages were isolated for days. Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East - Coast in October 2012, caused mas sive coastal damage from storm surge and flooding. Sandy was responsible for approximately 150 deaths, about half of those in the Northeast, and monetary impacts on coastal areas, especially in New Jersey, New York, Rising sea levels are already affecting coastal cities in the Northeast, and projections suggest and Connecticut estimated at $60 to - that impacts will be widespread. The map on the left shows local sea level trends in the North 2,3 Floodwaters inundated $80 billion. east region. The length of the arrows varies with the length of the time series for each tide subway tunnels in New York City, 8.5 gauge location. (Figure source: NOAA). The graph at the right shows observed sea level rise in Philadelphia, which has increased by 1.2 feet over the past century, significantly exceeding million people were without power, the global average of 8 inches, increasing the risk of impacts to critical urban infrastructure in and an estimated 650,000 homes 6 2 low-lying areas. (Data from Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level ). were damaged or destroyed. s elec Ted a dap TaTion e FF or Ts The City of Philadelphia is greening its combined sewer infrastructure to protect rivers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and enhance adaptation 4 to a changing climate. Officials in coastal Maine are working with the statewide Sustainability Solutions Initiative to identify how culverts that carry stormwater can be maintained and improved, in order to increase resiliency to more frequent extreme precipitation events. This includes actions such as using larger 5 culverts to carry water from major storms. This one-acre stormwater wetland was constructed in Philadelphia to treat stormwater runoff in an effort to improve drinking water quality while minimiz - ing the impacts of storm-related flows on natural ecosystems. 71

80 SOUTHEAST AND CARIBBEAN essages M ey K Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to both natural and built environments and to the regional economy. Increasing temperatures and the associated increase in frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat events will affect public health, natural and built environments, energy, agriculture, and forestry. Decreased water availability, exacerbated by population growth and land-use change, will continue to increase competition for water and affect the region’s economy and unique ecosystems. T he Southeast and Caribbean region is exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise, extreme heat events, hurricanes, and decreased water availability. The geographic distribution of these impacts and vulnerabilities is uneven, since the region encompasses a wide range of environments, from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal plains. The region is home 1 three of which are along the coast to more than 80 million people and some of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas, and vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge. The Gulf and Atlantic coasts are major producers of seafood and home 2 that are also vulnerable. The Southeast is a major energy producer of coal, crude oil, and natural to seven major ports 2 gas, and is the highest energy user of any of the National Climate Assessment regions. The Southeast warmed during the early part of last century, cooled for a few decades, and is now warming again. Temperatures across the region are expected to increase in the future. Major consequences include significant increases in the number of hot days (95°F or above) and decreases in freezing events. Higher temperatures contribute to the 3 Higher temperatures are also projected to reduce livestock and crop formation of harmful air pollutants and allergens. 4 Climate change is expected to increase harmful blooms of algae and several disease-causing agents in productivity. 5 The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes inland and coastal waters. in the North Atlantic and the amount of rain falling in very heavy precip - Southeast Temperature: itation events have increased over recent decades, and further increases are projected. Observed and Projected Billion Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters 1980-2012 - Temperature projections compared to observed tem This map summarizes the number of times over the past 30 years that each state has - peratures from 1901-1960 for two emissions scenar been affected by weather and climate events that have resulted in more than a billion ios, one assuming substantial emissions reductions dollars in damages. The Southeast has been affected by more billion-dollar disasters (B1) and the other continued growth in emissions than any other region. The primary disaster type for coastal states such as Florida is (A2). For each scenario, shading shows range of hurricanes, while interior and northern states in the region also experience sizeable projections and line shows a central estimate. (Figure 7 6 numbers of tornadoes and winter storms. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC ). source: adapted from Kunkel et al. 2013 ). 72

81 Global sea level rose about eight inches in the last SOUTHEAST Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise century and is projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet in this century. Large numbers of southeastern cities, AND CARIBBEAN roads, railways, ports, airports, oil and gas facilities, and water supplies are vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise. Major cities like New Orleans, with 8 Miami, roughly half of its population below sea level, Tampa, Charleston, and Virginia Beach are among 9 those most at risk. As a result of current sea level rise, the coastline of Puerto Rico around Rincòn is being eroded at a rate of 10 Puerto Rico has one of the highest 3.3 feet per year. population densities in the world, with 56% of the 10 population living in coastal municipalities. Sea level rise and storm surge can have impacts far - beyond the area directly affected. Sea level rise com bines with other climate-related impacts and existing pressures such as land subsidence, causing significant The map shows the relative risk as sea level rises using a Coastal Vulner - economic and ecological implications. According to a ability Index calculated based on tidal range, wave height, coastal slope, recent study co-sponsored by a regional utility, coastal shoreline change, landform and processes, and historical rate of relative areas in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas sea level rise. The approach combines a coastal system’s susceptibility already face losses that annually average $14 billion - to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental con from hurricane winds, land subsidence, and sea level ditions, and yields a relative measure of the system’s natural vulnerability to the effects of sea level rise. (Data from Hammar-Klose and Thieler rise. Losses for the 2030 timeframe could reach $23 17 2001 ). billion assuming a nearly 3% increase in hurricane wind speed and just under 6 inches of sea level rise. About 50% of the increase in losses is related to 11 Ted FF or Ts elec e a s dap TaTion climate change. Louisiana State Highway 1, heavily used for delivering Clayton County, critical oil and gas resources from Port Fourchon, is Georgia’s innovative sinking, at the same time sea level is rising, resulting water recycling in more frequent and more severe flooding during project enabled it to 12 A 90-day shutdown of this high tides and storms. maintain abundant 13 road would cost the nation an estimated $7.8 billion. water supplies, with reservoirs at or near Freshwater supplies from rivers, streams, and ground - capacity, during the - water sources near the coast are at risk from accel 2007-2008 drought, erated saltwater intrusion due to higher sea levels. while neighboring Porous aquifers in some areas make them particularly Lake Lanier, the water supply for Atlanta, was at record lows. 14 For example, vulnerable to saltwater intrusion. The project involved a series of constructed wetlands (see officials in the city of Hallandale Beach, Florida, have photo) used as the final stage of a wastewater treatment already abandoned six of their eight drinking water process that recharges groundwater and supplies surface 15 wells. reservoirs. The county has also implemented water efficiency 18 and leak detection programs. Continued urban development and increases in In other adaptation efforts, the North Carolina Department irrigated agriculture will increase water demand while of Transportation is raising U.S. Highway 64 across the higher temperatures will increase evaporative losses. Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula by four feet, which includes 18 - All of these factors will combine to reduce the avail 19 inches to allow for higher future sea levels. ability of water in the Southeast. Severe water stress For another example, see page 63 for a description of the 16 is projected for many small Caribbean islands. Southeast Florida Regional Compact’s plans to reduce heat- trapping gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. 73

82 MIDWEST ey K essages M In the next few decades, longer growing seasons and rising carbon dioxide levels will increase yields of some crops, though those benefits will be progressively offset by extreme weather events. Though adaptation options can reduce some of the detrimental effects, in the long term, the combined stresses associated with climate change are expected to decrease agricultural productivity. The composition of the region’s forests is expected to change as rising temperatures drive habitats for many tree species northward. The role of the region’s forests as a net absorber of carbon is at risk from disruptions to forest ecosystems, in part due to climate change. Increased heat wave intensity and frequency, increased humidity, degraded air quality, and reduced water quality will increase public health risks. The Midwest has a highly energy-intensive economy with per capita emissions of greenhouse gases more than 20% higher than the national average. The region also has a large and increasingly utilized potential to reduce emissions that cause climate change. Extreme rainfall events and flooding have increased during the last century, and these trends are expected to continue, causing erosion, declining water quality, and negative impacts on transportation, agriculture, human health, and infrastructure. Climate change will exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes, including changes in the range and distri - bution of certain fish species, increased invasive species and harmful blooms of algae, and declining beach health. Ice cover declines will lengthen the commercial navigation season. T he Midwest’s agricultural lands, forests, Great Lakes, industrial activities, and cities are all vulnerable to climate variabil - - ity and climate change. Climate change will tend to amplify existing risks climate poses to people, ecosystems, and infra structure. Direct effects will include increased heat stress, flooding, drought, and late spring freezes. Climate change also alters pests and disease prevalence, competition from non-native or opportunistic native species, ecosystem disturbances, land-use change, landscape fragmentation, atmospheric and watershed pollutants, and economic shocks such as crop failures, reduced yields, or toxic blooms of algae due to extreme weather events. These added stresses, together with the Projected Climate Change Change in Heavy Precipitation Change in Cooling Degree Days Change in Days Above 95°F - Temperatures above 95°F are associated Cooling degree days (a measure of energy The frequency of days with very heavy pre with negative human health impacts and demand for air conditioning) are also projected cipitation (the wettest 2% of days) is also pro - suppressed agricultural yields. The frequen - to increase, leading to potential increases in the jected to increase, raising the risk of floods seasonality and annual total electricity demand. and nutrient pollution. cy of these days is projected to increase by mid- centur y. Projections above from global climate models are shown for 2041-2070 as compared to 1971-2000 under an emissions scenario that assumes continued increases in heat-trapping gases (A2 scenario). (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC) 74

83 direct effects of climate change, are projected to Great Lakes Ice Cover Decline alter ecosystem and socioeconomic patterns and processes in ways that most people in the region would consider detrimental. Most of the Midwest’s population lives in urban environments. Climate change may intensify other - stresses on urban dwellers and vegetation, includ ing increased atmospheric pollution, heat island effects, a highly variable water cycle, and frequent exposure to new pests and diseases. Further, many of the cities have aging infrastructure and are particularly vulnerable to climate change related flooding and life-threatening heat waves. The increase in heavy downpours has contributed to the discharge of untreated sewage due to excess water in combined sewage-overflow systems in a 1 number of cities in the Midwest. Great Lakes ice coverage has declined substantially, as shown by these decade averag - Much of the region’s fisheries, recreation, tourism, es of annual maximum ice coverage since reliable measurements began, although there is substantial variability from year to year. Less ice, coupled with more frequent and and commerce depend on the Great Lakes and 7 intense storms, - leaves shores vulnerable to erosion and flooding and could harm prop expansive northern forests, which already face pol - 8 Reduced ice cover also has the potential to lengthen the shipping erty and fish habitat. lution and invasive species pressures – pressures 9 The navigation season increased by an average of eight days between 1994 season. exacerbated by climate change. and 2011. Increased shipping days benefit commerce but could also increase shoreline 9,10 scouring and bring in more invasive species. (Figure source: Data updated from Bai 11 Extreme weather events will influence future crop and Wang 2012 ). yields more than changes in average temperature or annual precipitation. High temperatures during early spring, for example, can decimate fruit crop 2 when early heat production causes premature plant budding s e TaTion Ts or FF dap a Ted elec that exposes flowers to later cold injury, as happened in 2002, and again in 2012, to Michigan’s The city of Cedar Falls’ new floodplain $60 million tart cherry crop. ordinance expands zoning restrictions Springtime cold air outbreaks are from the 100-year floodplain to the projected to continue to occur 500-year floodplain to better reflect the 3 throughout this century. flood risks experienced by this and other 12 Midwest cities during the 2008 floods. Any increased productivity of some crops due to higher tem - Cedar Rapids has also taken significant - peratures, longer growing sea steps to reduce future flood damage, with buyouts of more than 1,000 properties, sons, and elevated carbon dioxide and numerous buildings adapted with concentrations could be offset flood protection measures. by water limitations and other 4 Heat waves during pol - stressors. Some cities have begun to incorporate lination of field crops such as corn adaptation planning for a range of climate 5 and soybean also reduce yields. change impacts. Chicago was one of the Wetter springs may reduce crop first cities to officially integrate climate 6 especially yields and profits, adaptation into a citywide plan. Since if growers are forced to switch the Climate Adaptation Plan’s release, a number of strategies have been to late-planted, shorter-season implemented to help the city manage varieties. heat, protect forests, and enhance green design, using techniques such as green 13 roofs. 75

84 GREAT PLAINS essages M ey K Rising temperatures are leading to increased demand for water and energy. In parts of the region, this will constrain development, stress natural resources, and increase competition for water among communities, agriculture, energy production, and ecological needs. Changes to crop growth cycles due to warming winters and alterations in the timing and magnitude of rainfall events have already been observed; as these trends continue, they will require new agriculture and livestock management practices. Landscape fragmentation is increasing, for example, in the context of energy development activities in the northern Great Plains. A highly fragmented landscape will hinder adaptation of species when climate change alters habitat composition and timing of plant development cycles. Communities that are already the most vulnerable to weather and climate extremes will be stressed even further by more frequent extreme events occurring within an already highly variable climate system. The magnitude of expected changes will exceed those experienced in the last century. Existing adaptation and planning efforts are inadequate to respond to these projected impacts. T he Great Plains is a diverse region where climate is woven into the fabric of life. Daily, monthly, and yearly variations in the weather can be dramatic and challenging. The region experiences multiple climate and weather hazards, including floods, droughts, severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms. In much of the Great Plains, too little precipi - tation falls to replace that needed by humans, plants, and animals. These variable conditions already stress communities and cause billions of dollars in damage. Climate change will add to both stress and costs. The people of the Great Plains historically have adapted to this challenging climate. Although projections suggest more frequent and more intense droughts, heavy downpours, and heat waves, people can reduce vulnerabilities through the use of new technologies, community-driven policies, and the judicious use of resources. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change can be locally driven, cost effective, and beneficial for local economies and ecosystem services. - Even small shifts in timing of plant growth cycles caused by climate change can disrupt ecosystem functions like preda tor-prey relationships or food availability. While historic bison herds migrated to adapt to changing conditions, habitats 1 are now fragmented by roads, agriculture, and structures, inhibiting similar large-scale migration. The trend toward more dry days and higher temperatures across the Southern Plains will increase evaporation, decrease water sup - plies, reduce electricity transmission capacity, and increase cooling demands. These changes will add stress to limited water resources and affect management choices related to irrigation, municipal use, 2 Increased drought frequency and intensity and energy generation. can turn marginal lands into deserts. Changing extremes in precipitation are projected across all seasons, including higher likelihoods of both increasing heavy rain and snow 3 4 Winter and spring precipita and more intense droughts. - events tion and heavy downpours are both projected to increase in the Increases in heavy downpours contribute to flooding. 76

85 north, leading to increased runoff and flooding that will reduce water quality and erode soils. Increased snowfall, rapid spring warming, and intense rainfall can combine to produce devastating floods, as is already common along the - Red River of the North. More intense rains will also contrib ute to urban flooding. Expectations of more precipitation in the northern Great Plains and less in the southern Great Plains were strongly manifest in 2011, with exceptional drought and record - ing-setting temperatures in Texas and Oklahoma – and flooding in the northern Great Plains. Many locations in Texas and Oklahoma experienced more than 100 days over 100°F, with both states setting new high temperature records. Rates of water loss were double the long-term av - erage, depleting water resources and contributing to more than $10 billion in direct losses to agriculture alone. In the future, average temperatures in this region are expected to increase and will continue to contribute to the intensity of A Texas State Park police officer walks across a cracked lakebed heat waves. in August 2011. This lake once spanned more than 5,400 acres. By contrast, the Northern Plains were exceptionally wet, with Montana and Wyoming recording all-time wettest springs and the Dakotas and Nebraska not far behind. Record rainfall and snowmelt combined to push the Missouri River and its tributaries beyond their banks and leave much of the Crow Reservation in Montana underwater. The Souris River near Minot, North Dakota, crested at four feet above its previous record, causing losses estimated at $2 billion. - Projected climate change will have both positive and negative consequences for agricultural productivity in the North ern Plains, where increases in winter and spring precipitation will benefit productivity by increasing water availability through soil moisture reserves during the early growing season, but this can be offset by fields too wet to plant. Rising temperatures will lengthen the growing season, possibly allowing a second annual crop in some places and some years. 5 6 Some pests and invasive weeds will be able to survive the warmer winters, However, warmer winters pose challenges. 7 and winter crops that emerge from dormancy earlier are susceptible to spring freezes. In the Southern Plains, project - ed declines in precipitation in the south and greater evapora - tion everywhere due to higher s esponses r Ted elec - temperatures will increase irri gation demand and exacerbate current stresses on agricultural The Oglala Lakota tribe in South productivity. Increased water Dakota is incorporating climate withdrawals from the Ogallala change adaptation and mitigation and High Plains Aquifers would planning as they consider long- term sustainable development. accelerate ongoing depletion Their Oyate Omniciye plan in the southern parts of the is a partnership built around aquifers and limit the ability to 8 six livability principles related Holding other aspects irrigate. to transportation, housing, of production constant, the economic competitiveness, climate impacts of shifting from existing communities, federal irrigated to dryland agriculture investments, and local values. would reduce crop yields by Their vision incorporates plans to 9 about a factor of two. reduce and adapt to future climate change while protecting cultural 10 resources. 77

86 SOUTHWEST essages M ey K Snowpack and streamflow amounts are projected to decline in parts of the Southwest, decreasing surface water supply reliability for cities, agriculture, and ecosystems. - The Southwest produces more than half of the nation’s high-value specialty crops, which are irriga tion-dependent and particularly vulnerable to extremes of moisture, cold, and heat. Reduced yields from increasing temperatures and increasing competition for scarce water supplies will displace jobs in some rural communities. Increased warming, drought, and insect outbreaks, all caused by or linked to climate change, have increased wildfires and impacts to people and ecosystems in the Southwest. Fire models project more wildfire and increased risks to communities across extensive areas. Flooding and erosion in coastal areas are already occurring even at existing sea levels and damag - ing some California coastal areas during storms and extreme high tides. Sea level rise is projected to increase as Earth continues to warm, resulting in major damage as wind-driven waves ride upon higher seas and reach farther inland. Projected regional temperature increases, combined with the way cities amplify heat, will pose increased threats and costs to public health in southwestern cities, which are home to more than 90% of the region’s population. Disruptions to urban electricity and water supplies will exacerbate these health problems. he Southwest is the hottest and driest region in the U.S., where the avail - T ability of water has defined its landscapes, history of human settlement, and modern economy. Climate changes pose challenges for an already parched region that is expected to get hotter and, in its southern half, significantly drier. Increased heat and changes to rain and snowpack will send ripple effects throughout the region, affecting 56 million people – a population expected 1 – and its critical agriculture sector. Severe to increase to 94 million by 2050 and sustained drought will stress water sources, already over-utilized in many areas, forcing increasing competition among farmers, energy - Heat, drought, and competition for water sup producers, urban dwellers, and ecosystems for the region’s most precious - plies will increase in the Southwest with contin resource. ued climate change. The region’s populous coastal cities face rising sea levels, extreme high tides, and storm surges, which pose particular risks to highways, bridges, power plants, and sewage treatment plants. Climate-related challenges also increase risks to critical port cities, which handle half of the nation’s incoming shipping containers. The region’s rich diversity of plant and animal species will be increasingly stressed. Widespread tree death and fires, which already have caused billions of dollars in economic losses, are projected to increase. Tourism and recreation also face climate change challenges, including reduced streamflow and a shorter snow season, influencing everything from the ski industry to lake and river recreation. Climate change contributes to increasing fires. 78

87 More than half of the nation’s high-value Longer Frost-Free Season specialty crops, including certain fruits, nuts, Increases Stress on Crops and vegetables, come from the Southwest. A longer frost-free season, less frequent cold air outbreaks, and more frequent heat waves accelerate crop ripening and maturity, reduce yields of corn, tree fruit, and wine - grapes, stress livestock, and increase agri 2 These changes cultural water consumption. are projected to continue and intensify, possibly requiring a northward shift in crop production, displacing existing growers and 3 affecting farming communities. Winter chill periods are projected to fall below the duration necessary for many California trees to bear nuts and fruits, which 4 will result in lower yields. Graph shows significant increases in the number of consecutive frost-free days per - Once temperatures increase beyond opti year in the past three decades compared to the 1901-2010 average. This leads to mum growing thresholds, further increases, further heat stress on plants and increased water demands for crops. Warmer winters like those projected beyond 2050, can cause can also lead to early bud burst or bloom of some perennial plants, resulting in frost large decreases in crop yields and hurt the damage when cold conditions occur in late spring. Higher winter temperatures also region’s agricultural economy. allow some agricultural pests to persist year-round, and may allow new pests and 14 15 (Figure source: Hoerling et al. 2013 diseases to become established. ). Climate change is exacerbating the major 5,6 - Between 1970 and 2003, warmer and drier conditions in factors that lead to wildfire: heat, drought, and dead trees. 7 Climate outweighed other factors in deter - creased burned area in western U.S. mid-elevation conifer forests by 650%. 8 Winter warming due to climate change has exacerbated bark mining burned area in the western U.S. from 1916 to 2003. 9 More wildfire beetle outbreaks by allowing more beetles, which normally die in cold weather, to survive and reproduce. 11 6,10,11,12 including a doubling of burned area in the southern Rockies, and up to is projected as climate change continues, 12 For more on fire in the Southwest see pages 53-54. 74% more fires in California. s elec Ted esponses r Adaptation options that can reduce vulnerability to urban heat stress and/or reduce emissions include: using reflective white roofs, planting shade trees, using more efficient appliances and adding solar power capacity to handle summer peak demand, and providing cooling centers and programs to check on elderly and at-risk residents. The Southwest’s abundant geothermal, wind, and solar resources could help transform the region’s electric system into one that uses substantially more renewable energy and lead to large reductions in heat-trapping gas emissions. This would also reduce the need for power plant cooling water, which will be more scarce in a hotter, drier future. Shown is one scenario in which different energy combinations in each state could achieve an 80% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2050 in the 13 ). Southwest electricity sector. (Data from Wei et al. 2012, 2013 79

88 NORTHWEST M K ey essages Changes in the timing of streamflow related to changing snowmelt are already observed and will continue, reducing the supply of water for many competing demands and causing far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic consequences. In the coastal zone, the effects of sea level rise, erosion, inundation, threats to infrastructure and habitat, and increasing ocean acidity collectively pose a major threat to the region. The combined impacts of increasing wildfire, insect outbreaks, and tree diseases are already causing widespread tree die-off and are virtually certain to cause additional forest mortality by the 2040s and long-term transformation of forest landscapes. Under higher emissions scenarios, extensive conversion of subalpine forests to other forest types is projected by the 2080s. While the agriculture sector’s technical ability to adapt to changing conditions can offset some adverse impacts of a changing climate, there remain critical concerns for agriculture with respect to costs of adaptation, development of more climate resilient technologies and management, and availability and timing of water. T he Northwest’s economy, infrastructure, natural systems, public health, and agriculture sectors all face important climate change related risks. Impacts on infrastructure, natural systems, human health, and economic sectors, combined with issues of social and ecological vulnerability, will unfold quite differently in largely natural areas, like the Cascade Range, 1 or among the region’s many than in urban areas like Seattle and Portland, 2 Native American tribes. Rising summer temperatures and changing water Seasonal water patterns shape the life cycles of the region’s flora and flows threaten salmon and other fish species. 3 fauna, including iconic salmon and steelhead, and forested ecosystems. Adding to the human influences on climate, human activities have altered natural habitats, threatened species, and extracted so much water that there are already conflicts among multiple users in dry years. As conflicts and trade-offs increase, the region’s population continues to grow. Particularly in the face of climate change, the need to seek solutions to these conflicts is becoming increasingly urgent. Observed regional warming has been Future Shift in Timing of Streamflows linked to changes in the timing and amount of water availability in basins Mixed rain-snow watersheds, such as the - Yakima River basin, an important agri with significant snowmelt contributions cultural area in eastern Washington, will to streamflow. By 2050, snowmelt is see increased winter flows, earlier spring projected to shift three to four weeks peak flows, and decreased summer flows earlier than the last century’s average, in a warming climate, causing widespread and summer flows are projected to be impacts. Natural surface water availability substantially lower, even for a scenario during the already dry late summer period 4 that assumes emissions reductions (B1). is projected to decrease across most of These reduced flows will require trade- 6 the Northwest. Projections are based on 5 offs among reservoir system objectives, the A1B emissions scenario, which as - especially with the added challenges sumes continued increases in emissions of summer increases in electric power through mid century and gradual declines demand for cooling and additional water thereafter. (Figure source: adapted from 4 ). Elsner et al. 2010 consumption by crops and forests. 80

89 Insects and Fire in Northwest Forests (Left) Insects and fire have cumulatively affected large areas of the Northwest and are projected to be the dominant drivers of forest 7 8 or affected by insects or disease (1997 to 2008). change in the near future. Map shows areas recently burned (1984 to 2008) (Right) Map indicates the increases in area burned that would result from the regional temperature and precipitation changes associated 9 10 across areas that share broad climatic and vegetation characteristics. Local impacts will vary greatly within with a 2.2°F global warming 11 these broad areas with sensitivity of fuels to climate. Climate change will alter Northwest forests by increasing wildfire risk, insect and disease outbreaks, and by forcing longer-term shifts in forest types and species. Many impacts will be driven by water deficits, which increase tree stress and mortality, tree vulnerability to insects, and fuel flammability. By the 2080s, the median annual area burned in the Northwest would quadruple relative to the 1916-2007 period to 2 million acres (range 0.2 to 9.8 million acres) under a 11 scenario that assumes continued increases in emissions through mid century and gradual declines thereafter (A1B). Ted a dap elec TaTion e FF or Ts s In Washington’s Nisqually River Delta, large-scale estuary restoration to assist salmon and wildlife recovery provides an example of adaptation to climate change and sea level rise. After a century of isolation behind dikes, much of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge was reconnected with tidal flow in 2009 by removal of a major dike and restoration of 762 acres, with the assistance of Ducks Unlimited and the Nisqually Indian Tribe. This reconnected more than 21 miles of historical tidal channels and floodplains 12 A new exterior dike was constructed to protect with Puget Sound. - Oyster harvest in Coos Bay, Oregon. Ocean acidifi freshwater wetland habitat for migratory birds from tidal inundation, - cation poses threats to the region’s important shell future sea level rise, and increasing river floods. fish industry. 81

90 ALASKA K ey M essages - Arctic summer sea ice is receding faster than previously projected and is expected to virtually dis appear before mid-century. This is altering marine ecosystems and leading to greater ship access, offshore development opportunity, and increased community vulnerability to coastal erosion. Most glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia are shrinking substantially. This trend is expected to continue and has implications for hydropower production, ocean circulation patterns, fisheries, and global sea level rise. Permafrost temperatures in Alaska are rising, a thawing trend that is expected to continue, causing multiple vulnerabilities through drier landscapes, more wildfire, altered wildlife habitat, increased cost of maintaining infrastructure, and the release of heat-trapping gases that increase climate warming. Current and projected increases in Alaska’s ocean temperatures and changes in ocean chemistry are expected to alter the distribution and productivity of Alaska’s marine fisheries, which lead the U.S. in commercial value. The cumulative effects of climate change in Alaska strongly affect Native communities, which are highly vulnerable to these rapid changes but have a deep cultural history of adapting to change. ver the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed more than twice as O rapidly as the rest of the U.S., with average annual air temperature - increasing by 3°F and average winter temperature by 6°F, with sub 1 Most of the warming stantial year-to-year and regional variability. occurred around 1976 during a shift in a long-lived climate pattern (the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) from a cooler pattern to a warmer one. The underlying long-term warming trend has moderated the effects of the more recent shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation 2 Alaska’s warming involves to its cooler phase in the early 2000s. 1,3 Because more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cold days. of its cold-adapted features and rapid warming, climate Rising Temperatures change impacts on Alaska are - already pronounced, includ ing earlier spring snowmelt, reduced sea ice, widespread Inupiaq seal hunter on the Chukchi Sea. Reductions in sea ice alter food availability for many species from glacier retreat, warmer polar bear to walrus, and make hunting less safe for permafrost, drier landscapes, Alaska Native hunters. and more extensive insect outbreaks and wildfire. The state’s largest industries, energy production, mining, and fishing, are all affected by climate change. Continuing pressure for oil, gas, and mineral devel - Bars show Alaska average temperature opment on land and offshore in ice-covered waters increases the demand for changes by decade for 1901-2012 relative to the 1901-1960 average. The far right bar infrastructure, placing additional stresses on ecosystems. Land-based energy (2000s decade) includes 2011 and 2012. exploration will be affected by a shorter season when ice roads are viable, yet (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC). reduced sea ice extent may create more opportunity for offshore development. 82

91 - Alaska is home to 40% of the federally recog The Big Thaw 4 The small nized tribes in the United States. number of jobs, high cost of living, and rapid social change make rural, predominantly Native, communities highly vulnerable to cli - mate change through impacts on traditional hunting and fishing and cultural connection to the land and sea. Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have declined substantially, especially in late summer (September), when there is now only about half as much sea ice as at the 5,6 beginning of the satellite record in 1979. The seven Septembers with the lowest ice extent all occurred in the past seven years. Sea ice has also become thinner, with less ice lasting over multiple years, and is therefore 6 Models more vulnerable to further melting. that best match historical trends project that northern waters will be virtually ice-free in 7 late summer by the 2030s. - As temperatures rise, permafrost thawing increases. Maps show projections of aver Reductions in sea ice increase the amount - age annual ground temperature at a depth of 3.3 feet for three time periods if emis of the sun’s energy absorbed by the ocean. sions of heat-trapping gases continue to grow (higher scenario, A2), and if they are This melts more ice, leaving more dark open - substantially reduced (lower scenario, B1). (Figure source: Permafrost Lab, Geophysi water that gains even more heat, leading to a cal Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks). self-reinforcing cycle that increases warming. In Alaska, 80% of land is underlain by permafrost – frozen ground that restricts water drainage and therefore strongly influences landscape water balance and the design and maintenance of infrastructure. More than 70% of this area is 8 Permafrost near the Alaskan Arctic vulnerable to subsidence (land sinking) upon thawing because of its ice content. 9 Thawing is already occurring in interior and southern coast has warmed 6°F to 8°F at 3.3 foot depth since the mid-1980s. 11 10 and some models Permafrost will continue to thaw, Alaska, where permafrost temperatures are near the thaw point. 12 project that near-surface permafrost will be lost entirely from large parts of Alaska by the end of this century. s esponses r elec Ted Local governments and tribes throughout Alaska are planting native vegetation, moving inland or away from rivers, and building riprap walls, seawalls, or groins, 13 Top which are shore-protection structures built perpendicular to the shoreline. photo shows a Homer seawall battered by waves while still under construction. Villages including Newtok, Shishmaref (bottom), and Kivalina are facing relocation because of sea level rise and coastal erosion. Storm surges that used to be buffered by ice are now causing more shoreline and infrastructure damage. Residents of these villages face thawing permafrost, tilting houses, and sinking boardwalks along with aging fuel tanks and other infrastructure. Newtok has worked for a generation to move to a safer location, but current federal legislation does not authorize federal or state agencies to assist communities in relocating, or the use of public funds to repair or upgrade storm-damaged infrastructure in 14 flood-prone locations. Shishmaref and Kivalina are also seeking to relocate but have been similarly unsuccessful. 83

92 HAWAI‘I AND PACIFIC ISLANDS ey K essages M Warmer oceans are leading to increased coral bleaching events and disease outbreaks in coral reefs, as well as changed distribution patterns of tuna fisheries. Ocean acidification will reduce coral growth and health. Warming and acidification, combined with existing stresses, will strongly affect coral reef fish communities. - Freshwater supplies are already constrained and will become more limited on many islands. Salt water intrusion associated with sea level rise will reduce the quantity and quality of freshwater in coastal aquifers, especially on low islands. In areas where precipitation does not increase, freshwa - ter supplies will be adversely affected as air temperature rises. Increasing temperatures, and in some areas reduced rainfall, will stress native Pacific Island plants and animals, especially in high-elevation ecosystems with increasing exposure to invasive species, increasing the risk of extinctions. Rising sea levels, coupled with high water levels caused by storms, will incrementally increase coastal flooding and erosion, damaging coastal ecosystems, infrastructure, and agriculture, and negatively affecting tourism. Mounting threats to food and water security, infrastructure, health, and safety are expected to lead to increasing human migration, making it increasingly difficult for Pacific Islanders to sustain the region’s many unique customs, beliefs, and languages. he U.S. Pacific Islands are at risk from climate changes that will affect nearly every aspect of life. The region includes T more than 2,000 islands spanning millions of square miles of ocean. Rising air and ocean temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, changing frequencies and intensities of storms and drought, decreasing streamflows, rising sea levels, and changing ocean chemistry will threaten the sustainability of globally important and diverse ecosystems on land and in the oceans, as well as local communities, livelihoods, and cultures. On most islands, increased temperatures coupled with decreased rainfall and increased drought will reduce the amount 1 Climate change impacts on freshwater resources will vary with of freshwater available for drinking and crop irrigation. differing island size and topography, affecting water storage capability and susceptibility to coastal flooding. Low-lying islands will be particularly vulnerable due to their small land mass, geographic isolation, limited potable water sources, and limited agricultural resourc - 2 Sea level rise will increase es. “High” and “Low” Pacific Islands Face Different Threats saltwater intrusion from the 3,4 ocean during storms. Rising sea levels will escalate the threat to coastal structures and property, groundwater reservoirs, harbor operations, airports, wastewater systems, shallow - coral reefs, sea grass beds, inter tidal flats and mangrove forests, and other social, economic, and The Pacific Islands include “high” volcanic islands, such as that on the left, that reach nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, and “low” atolls and islands, such as that on the right, that peak at natural resources. just a few feet above present sea level. (Left) Ko`olau Mountains on the windward side of Oahu, Hawai‘i. (Right) Laysan Island, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 84

93 - Coastal infrastructure and agricul Higher Sea Level Rise in Western Pacific tural activity on low islands will be affected as sea level rise decreases 3 the land area available for farming, and periodic flooding increases the salinity of groundwater. Many of Hawai‘i’s native birds, marvels of evolution largely lim - ited to high-elevation forests, are increasingly vulnerable as rising tem - peratures allow mosquitoes carrying diseases like avian malaria to thrive 5 Mangrove area at higher elevations. in the region could decline 10% to 20% in this century due to sea level 6 This would reduce the nursery rise. - Map shows large variations across the Pacific Ocean in sea level trends for 1993-2010. The larg areas, feeding grounds, and habitat est sea level increase has been observed in the Western Pacific, due, in part to changing wind 11 - for fish, crustaceans, and other spe patterns associated with natural climate variability. (Figure source: adapted from Merrifield 2011 cies, as well as shoreline protection by permission of American Meteorological Society). and wave dampening, and water 7 Pacific seabirds that breed on low-lying atolls will lose large portions of their breeding filtration provided by mangroves. 8 as their habitat is increasingly and more extensively covered by seawater. populations - Economic impacts from tourism loss will be greatest on islands with more developed infrastructure. In Hawai‘i, for exam ple, where tourism comprises 26% of the state’s economy, damage to tourism infrastructure could have large economic 9 impacts – the loss of Waikīkī Beach alone could lead to an annual loss of $2 billion in visitor expenditures. Because Pacific Islands are almost entirely dependent upon imported food, fuel, and material, the vulnerability of ports Climate change is also and airports to extreme events, sea level rise, and increasing wave heights is of great concern . 10 In addition, expected to have serious effects on human health, for example by increasing the incidence of dengue fever. sea level rise and flooding are expected to overwhelm sewer systems and threaten public sanitation. The traditional lifestyles and cultures of Indigenous communities in all Pacific Islands will be seriously affected by climate change. Drought threatens traditional food sources such as taro and breadfruit, and coral death from warming-induced 4 - Climate change impacts, coupled with socioeco bleaching will threaten subsistence fisheries in island communities. nomic or political motivations, may be great enough to lead some people to relocate. Depending on the scale and distance of elec s Ted a TaTion dap - migration, a variety of challenges face migrants and the communi ties receiving them. The State of Hawai‘i, in cooperation with university, private, state, and federal scientists and others, has 13 drafted an adaptation plan, one of the priorities - Increasing ocean temperature and acidity threaten coral reef ecosys of which is preserving water sources through tems. By 2100, assuming ongoing increases in emissions of heat-trap - ping gases (A2 scenario), continued loss of coral reefs and the shelter conservation of the forests, as indicated in their 14 they provide will result in extensive losses in numbers and species of “Rain Follows The Forest” report. 12 For more on ocean impacts, see pages 59-60. reef fishes. 85

94 RURAL COMMUNITIES essages M ey K Rural communities are highly dependent upon natural resources for their livelihoods and social - structures. Climate change related impacts are currently affecting rural communities. These im pacts will progressively increase over this century and will shift the locations where rural economic activities (like agriculture, forestry, and recreation) can thrive. Rural communities face particular geographic and demographic obstacles in responding to and preparing for climate change risks. In particular, physical isolation, limited economic diversity, and - higher poverty rates, combined with an aging population, increase the vulnerability of rural commu nities. Systems of fundamental importance to rural populations are already stressed by remoteness and limited access. Responding to additional challenges from climate change impacts will require significant adaptation within rural transportation and infrastructure systems, as well as health and emergency response systems. Governments in rural communities have limited institutional capacity to respond to, plan for, and anticipate climate change impacts. 1 Rural areas provide ore than 95% of U.S. land area is classified as rural, but is home to just 19% of the population. M - natural resources that much of the rest of the U.S. depends on for food, energy, water, forests, recreation, national char 2 Rural economic foundations and community cohesion are intricately linked to these natural acter, and quality of life. systems, which are inherently vulnerable to climate change. Urban areas that depend on goods and services from rural areas will also be affected by climate change driven impacts across the countryside. Warming, climate volatility, extreme weather events, and environmental change are already affecting the economies and cultures of rural areas. Many communities face considerable risk to their infrastructure, livelihoods, and quality of life from observed and projected climate shifts. These changes will progressively increase volatility in food Many Rural Areas commodity markets, shift locations where particular are Losing Population economic activities can thrive, alter the ranges of plant - and animal species, and, depending on the region, in crease water scarcity, exacerbate flooding and coastal erosion, and increase the intensity and frequency of wildfires across the rural landscape. Because many rural communities are less diverse than urban areas in their economic activities, changes in the viability of one traditional economic sector will place disproportionate stresses on community stability. Rural America has already experienced impacts of climate change related weather effects, including crop 3 and livestock loss from severe drought and flooding, 4 damage to levees and roads from extreme storms, 5 and large-scale shifts in planting and harvesting times, 6 losses from fires and other weather-related disasters. Census data show significant population decreases in many rural These impacts have profound effects, often significant - areas, notably in the Great Plains. Many rural communities’ existing vulnerabilities to climate change, including physical isolation, reduced ly affecting the health and well-being of rural residents services like health care, and an aging population, are projected to and communities, and are amplified by the essential increase as population decreases. (Figure source: USDA Economic economic link between these communities and their 7 ). Research Service 2013 natural resource base. 86

95 Hunting, fishing, bird watching, and other wildlife-related activities will be affected as wildlife habitats shift and relationships among species 8 Cold-weather rec - change. reation and tourism will be adversely affected by climate change. Snow accumulation in the West has decreased, and Flooded corn field and river flood waters illustrate threats rural areas face in a changing climate. - is expected to continue to de crease, as a result of observed 9 Adverse impacts on winter sports and projected warming. Similar changes to snowpack are expected in the Northeast. 10 are projected to be more pronounced in the Northeast and Southwest. 11 Changing conditions, such as Coastal areas will be adversely affected by sea level rise and increased severity of storms. 12 and increased risk of natural hazards such as wildfire, flash flooding, wetland loss and beach erosion in coastal areas, storm surge, river flooding, drought, and extremely high temperatures can alter the character and attraction of rural areas as tourist destinations. Changing demographics and economic activities influence the ability to respond to climate change. Rural areas are char - acterized by higher unemployment, more dependence on government transfer payments, less diversified economies, 10,13 and fewer social and economic resources needed for resilience in the face of climate change. a dap TaTion c hallenges Climate variability and increases in temperature, extreme events (such as storms, floods, heat waves, and droughts), and sea level rise are expected to have widespread impacts on the provision of services from state, regional, local, and tribal governments. Emergency management, energy use and distribution systems, transportation and infrastructure planning, and public health will all be affected. Rural governments often depend heavily on volunteers to meet community challenges like fire protection or flood response. Rural communities have limited locally available financial resources to cope with the effects of climate change. Small community size tends to make services expensive or available only by traveling some distance. Adaptation efforts require planning, but local governance structures tend to de-emphasize planning capacity compared to urban areas. While 73% of metropolitan counties have land-use planners, only 29% of rural counties not adjacent to a metropolitan county had one or more planners. Moreover, rural communities are not equipped to deal 14 with major infrastructure expenses. If rural communities are to respond adequately to future climate changes, they will likely need help assessing their risks and vulnerabilities, prioritizing and coordinating projects, funding and allocating financial and human resources, and deploying information-sharing and decision support tools. Impacts due to climate change will cross community and regional lines, making solutions dependent upon meaningful participation of numerous stakeholders from federal, state, local, and tribal governments, science and academia, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and the general public. Effective adaptation measures are closely tied to 15 specific local conditions and needs and take into account existing social networks. Decisions regarding adaptation responses for both urban and rural populations can occur at various scales (federal, state, local, tribal, private sector, and individual) but need to take interdependencies into account. Many decisions that significantly affect rural communities may not be under the control of local governments or rural residents. Timing is a critical aspect of adaptation and mitigation, so engaging rural residents early in decision processes about investments in public infrastructure, protection of shorelines, changes in insurance provision, or new management initiatives can influence behavior and choices in ways that enhance positive outcomes of adaptation and mitigation. 87

96 COASTS K ey M essages Coastal lifelines, such as water supply and energy infrastructure and evacuation routes, are in - creasingly vulnerable to higher sea levels and storm surges, inland flooding, erosion, and other climate-related changes. Nationally important assets, such as ports, tourism, and fishing sites, in already-vulnerable coastal locations, are increasingly exposed to sea level rise and related hazards. This threatens to disrupt economic activity within coastal areas and the regions they serve and results in significant costs from protecting or moving these assets. Socioeconomic disparities create uneven exposures and sensitivities to growing coastal risks and limit adaptation options for some coastal communities, resulting in the displacement of the most vulnerable people from coastal areas. Coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change because many have already been dramatically altered by human stresses; climate change will result in further reduction or loss of the services that these ecosystems provide, including potentially irreversible impacts. Leaders and residents of coastal regions are increasingly aware of the high vulnerability of coasts to climate change, and are developing plans to prepare for potential impacts on citizens, businesses, and environmental assets. Significant institutional, political, social, and economic obstacles to implementing adaptation actions remain. - M ore than 50% of Americans – 164 million people – live in coastal counties, with 1.2 million added each year. Resi 1,2 place heavy demands on dents, combined with the more than 180 million tourists that flock to the coasts each year, 1,2 the unique natural systems and resources that make coastal areas so attractive and productive. No other region concentrates so many people and so much economic activity on so little land, while also being so relentlessly affected by the sometimes violent interactions of land, sea, and air. Humans have heavily altered the - coastal environment through develop ment, changes in land use, and overex - ploitation of resources. Now, the changing climate is imposing 3 making life on the additional stresses, - coast more challenging. The conse quences will ripple through the entire nation. Damage to coastal roads is already a problem along the shores of the U.S. and will worsen as sea level continues to rise. 88

97 Paths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Relative to Oil and Gas Production Facilities A substantial portion of U.S. energy facilities are located on the Gulf Coast as well as offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, where they are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and other storms and sea level rise. (Figure source: U.S. Govern - 4 ment Accountability Office 2006 ). Lifelines at Risk - Key coastal vulnerabilities arise from complex interactions among climate change and other physical, human, and ecolog ical factors. These vulnerabilities have the potential to fundamentally alter life at the coast and disrupt coast-dependent economic activities. The more than 60,000 miles of coastal roads are essential for human activities. Already, many coastal roads are affected 5 6 As coastal bridges, tunnels, and roads are built or redesigned, engineers and extreme high tides. during storm events 7 must account for present and future climate change impacts. - Wastewater management and drainage systems are also at risk. Systems will become overwhelmed with increased rain 8 Sea level rise will cause a variety of problems fall intensity over more impervious surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete. 9 Together, climate change impacts increase the risks of urban flood - including salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers. 10 ing, combined sewer overflows, deteriorating coastal water quality, and human health impacts. The nation’s energy infrastructure, such as power plants, oil and gas refineries, storage tanks, transformers, and electricity transmission 11 Roughly lines, are often located directly in the coastal floodplain. two-thirds of imported oil enters the U.S. through Gulf of Mexico 12 and unless adaptive measures are taken, storm-related flood - ports, ing, erosion, and permanent inundation from sea level rise will disrupt 13 the supply of refined products to the rest of the nation. There are a variety of options to protect, replace, and redesign existing infrastructure, including flood proofing and flood protection - through dikes, berms, pumps, integration of natural landscape fea 14 Such adap - tures, elevation, more frequent upgrades, or relocation. tation options are best assessed in a site-specific context, weighing Natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates social, economic, and ecological considerations. some of the infrastructure at risk from coastal storms. 89

98 Coasts Economic Disruption More than 5,790 square miles and more than $1 trillion of property and structures are at risk of inundation from sea level rise of two feet above current sea level – which could be reached by 2050 under a high rate of sea level rise, by 15,16,17 Roughly half of the vulnerable 2070 assuming a lower rate of rise, and sooner in areas of rapid land subsidence. 16,18 property value is located in Florida. Although comprehensive national estimates are not yet available, regional studies are indicative of the potential risk: the incremental annual damage of climate change to capital assets in the Gulf region alone could be $2.7 to $4.6 billion 19 Investing by 2030, and $8.3 to $13.2 billion by 2050; about 20% of these at-risk assets are in the oil and gas industry. approximately $50 billion for adaptation over the next 20 years could lead to approximately $135 billion in averted losses 19,20 over the lifetime of adaptive measures. Coastal recreation and tourism comprises the largest and fastest-growing sector of the U.S. service industry, accounting 1,21 Hard shoreline protection against the encroaching sea for 85% of the $700 billion annual tourism-related revenues. (like building sea walls or riprap) generally aggravates erosion and beach loss, and causes negative effects on coastal ecosystems, undermining the attractiveness of beach tourism. Thus, “soft protection,” such as beach replenishment or conservation and restoration of sand dunes and wetlands, is increasingly preferred to “hard protection” measures. Coast-to-Inland Economic Connections Ports are deeply interconnected with inland areas through the goods imported and exported each year. Climate change impacts on ports can thus have far-reaching implications for the nation’s economy. Maps show the exports and imports in 2010 (in tons/year) and freight flows (in trucks per day) from two major U.S. ports (Los Angeles and New York/New Jersey) to other U.S. areas designated in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Freight Analysis Framework (FAF). Note: Highway Link Flow less than 5 FAF Trucks/Day are not shown. (Figure source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Freight Management and Operations, Freight Analysis Framework, 22 ). version 3.4, 2012 Socioeconomic Disparities 23,24 and a full understanding of risk for coastal communities There are large socioeconomic disparities in coastal areas, requires consideration of social vulnerability factors that limit people’s ability to adapt. These factors include lower income, minority status, low educational achievement, advanced age, lower economic and social mobility, and much 25 The most socially vulnerable populations also tend to lower likelihood of being insured than wealthy property owners. 24,26 have fewer adaptation options in their current locations, and thus may be at greater risk of dislocation. 90

99 Vulnerable Ecosystems - Coastal ecosystems provide a suite of valuable benefits (ecosystem services) on which humans depend, including reduc ing the impacts from floods, buffering from storm surge and waves, and providing nursery habitat for important fish and 27,28 other species, water filtration, carbon storage, and opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. However, many of these ecosystems and the services they provide are rapidly being degraded by human impacts, includ - ing pollution, habitat destruction, and the spread of invasive species. These existing stresses on coastal ecosystems will be exacerbated by climate change effects, such as increased ocean 29 30 and acidified waters altered river flows affecting the health of estuaries, temperatures that lead to coral bleaching, 31 Of particular concern is the potential for coastal ecosystems to cross thresholds of rapid change threatening shellfish. (“tipping points”), beyond which they exist in a dramatically altered state or are lost entirely from the area. Some ecosys - 32 tems are already near tipping points and in some cases the changes will be irreversible. Tuni TaTion dap and o ppor c Ties a hallenges Coastal leaders and populations are increasingly concerned about climate-related impacts and are developing adaptation 33 but support for development plans, 34 restrictions or managed retreat is limited. Enacting measures that increase resilience in the face of current hazards, while reducing long-term risks due to climate change, 35 continues to be challenging. A robust finding is that the cost of inaction is 4 to 10 times greater than the cost associated with preventive 16,36 hazard mitigation. Even so, prioritizing expenditures now whose benefits accrue far 37 in the future is difficult. Cumulative costs to the economy of A coastal ecosystem restoration project in New York City integrates responding to sea level rise and flooding revegetation (a form of green infrastructure) with bulkheads and rip - events alone could be as high as $325 rap (gray or built infrastructure). Investments in coastal ecosystem billion by 2100 for 4 feet of sea level rise, conservation and restoration can protect coastal waterfronts and with $130 billion expected to be incurred in infrastructure, while providing additional benefits, such as habitat for Florida and $88 billion in the North Atlantic commercial and recreational fish, birds, and other animal and plant 17 The projected costs associated with region. species, that are not offered by built infrastructure. one foot of sea level rise by 2100 are roughly $200 billion. These figures exclude losses of valuable ecosystem services, as well as indirect losses from business 17,38 disruption, lost economic activity, impacts on economic growth, or other non-market losses. 39 but the full potential of Property insurance can serve as an important mode of financial adaptation to climate risks, 40,41 Federal fiscal exposure for the National Flood leveraging insurance rates and availability has not yet been realized. 42 Insurance Program was estimated at nearly $1.3 trillion in 2012. Reforms were enacted in 2012, though various 43 challenges remain. Climate adaptation efforts that integrate hazard mitigation, natural resource conservation, and restoration of coastal ecosystems can enhance ecological resilience and reduce the exposure of property, infrastructure, and economic 28,44 Yet, the integration and translation of scientific understanding of the benefits activities to climate change impacts. 45 Adaptation efforts provided by ecosystems into engineering design and hazard management remains challenging. to date that have begun to connect these issues across jurisdictional and departmental boundaries and create 40,46 innovative solutions are thus extremely encouraging. 91

100 COASTAL CLIMATE CHANGE ALASKA NORTHWEST • Summer sea ice is receding rapidly, alter - • The substantial global sea level rise is regionally mod - - ing marine ecosystems, allowing for great - erated by the continuing uplift of land, with few excep er ship access and offshore development, tions, such as the Seattle area and central Oregon. and making Native communities highly susceptible to coastal erosion. Commercial shellfish populations are at risk from • ocean acidification. - Ice loss from melting Alaskan and Cana • dian glaciers currently contributes almost • The region’s relatively high economic dependence as much to sea level rise as does melting on commercial fisheries makes it sensitive to climate of the Greenland Ice Sheet. change impacts on marine species and ecosystems and related coastal ecosystems. • Current and projected in - creases in Alaska’s • Coastal storm surges are expected to be higher due to ocean temperatures increases in sea level alone, and more intense per - and changes in sistent storm tracks (atmospheric river systems) will ocean chemistry increase coastal flooding risks from inland runoff. are expected to alter the distribution and productivity of High Alaska’s marine fisheries. Vulnerability >1.5 0.6 to 1.5 CALIFORNIA • Sea level has risen approximately 7 inches from 1900 to 2005, and is expected to rise -0.4 to .05 at growing rates in this century. • Higher temperatures; changes in precipitation, runoff, and water supplies; and salt - -1.4 to -.05 water intrusion into coastal aquifers will result in negative impacts on coastal water resources. <-1.5 • Coastal storm surges are expected to be higher due to increases in sea level alone, and Low more intense persistent storm tracks (atmospheric river systems) will increase coastal Vulnerability flooding risks from inland runoff. • Expensive coastal development, critical infrastructure, and valuable coastal wetlands are at growing risk from coastal erosion, temporary flooding, and permanent inunda - tion. • The San Francisco Bay and San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta are particularly vul - nerable to sea level rise and changes in salinity, temperature, and runoff; endangering one of the ecological “jewels” of the West Coast, as well as growing development, and crucial water infrastructure. HAWAI‘I AND PACIFIC ISLANDS Warmer and drier conditions will reduce freshwater supplies on many Pacific • Islands, especially on low lying islands and atolls. • Sea level rise will continue at accelerating rates, exacerbating coastal erosion, damaging infrastructure and agriculture, reducing critical habitat, and threaten - ing shallow coral reef systems. - • Extreme water levels occur when high tides combine with interannual and in terdecadal sea level variations (such as El Niño Southern Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, mesoscale eddy events) and storm surge. • Coral reef changes pose threats to communities, cultures, and ecosystems. 92

101 THREATS AROUND THE U.S. Boxes summarize coastal climate change threats for each region. 48 Map shows how social vulnerability varies around the coasts. NORTHEAST GREAT LAKES • Highly built-up coastal corridor concentrates • Higher temperatures and longer growing sea - population and supporting infrastructure. - sons in the Great Lakes region favor produc • Storm surges from nor’easters and hurricanes tion of blue-green and toxic algae that can can cause significant damage. harm fish, water quality, habitat, and aesthet - ics. • The historical rate of relative sea level rise var - ies across the region. • Increased winter air temperatures will lead to decreased Great Lakes ice cover, making - • Wetlands and estuaries are vulnerable to inun shorelines more susceptible to erosion and - dation from sea level rise; buildings and infra flooding. structure are most vulnerable to higher storm surges as sea level rises. Current projections of lake level changes are • uncertain. MID - ATL ANTIC • Rates of local sea level rise in the Chesapeake Bay are greater SOCIAL VULNERABILITY than the global average. Map shows a Social Vulnerability Sea level rise and related flood - • Index, providing a quantitative, in - ing and erosion threaten coastal tegrative measure of vulnerability of - homes, infrastructure, and com human populations in the U.S. mercial development, including - High vulnerability (dark pink) typical ports. ly indicates some combination of high exposure and high sensitivity to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystems • effects of climate change and low capacity to deal with them. are already heavily degraded, Index components and weighting are specific to each region making them more vulnerable to (North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf, Pacific, Great Lakes, climate-related impacts. Alaska, and Hawai‘i), and are constructed from Census data including measures of poverty, age, family structure, location (rural versus urban), foreign-born status, wealth, 24,47 gender, Native American status, and occupation. SOUTHEAST AND CARIBBEAN • A large number of cities, critical infra - structure, and water supplies are at low elevations and exposed to sea level rise, in some places moderated by land uplift. - • Ecosystems of the Southeast are vulner able to loss from relative sea level rise, especially tidal marshes and swamps. GULF COAST - • Sea level rise will affect coastal agricul - ture through higher storm surges, salt • Hurricanes, land subsidence, sea level rise, and erosion already - water intrusion, and impacts on freshwa - pose great risks to Gulf Coast areas, placing homes, critical infra ter supplies. structure, and people at risk, and causing permanent land loss. • The number of land-falling tropical • Coastal inland and water temperatures are expected to rise; coastal storms may decline, reducing important inland areas are expected to become drier. rainfall. • There is still uncertainty about future frequency and intensity of Gulf • The incidence of harmful algal blooms of Mexico hurricanes, but sea level rise will increase storm surges. is expected to increase with climate - • The Florida Keys, South Florida, and coastal Louisiana are particu change, as are health problems previ - larly vulnerable to additional sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. ously uncommon in the region. 93

102 FUTURE NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENTS Sustained Assessment Since 1990, Congress has required periodic updates on climate science and its implications. A primary goal of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) is to help the nation anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to impacts from climate change in the context of other national and global change factors. As this third NCA was being prepared, a vision for a new approach to assessments took shape. This vision includes an ongoing process for understanding and evaluating the nation’s vulnerabilities to climate change and its capacity to respond. A sustained assessment, in addition to producing quadrennial assessment reports as required by law, rec - ognizes that the ability to understand, predict, assess, and respond to rapid changes in the global environment requires A sustained assessment process would provide decision-makers ongoing efforts to integrate new knowledge and experience. with more timely and useful information. A sustained assessment process would: 1) advance the body of assessment literature has guided and informed the 1 science needed to improve the assessment process and its development of this approach to a sustained assessment. The envisioned sustained assessment process includes outcomes, building associated foundational knowledge and continuing and expanding engagement with scientists and collecting relevant data; 2) develop targeted scientific re - other professionals from government, academia, business, ports and other products that respond directly to the needs and non-governmental organizations. These partnerships of federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, and broaden the knowledge base from which conclusions can other decision-makers; 3) create a framework for continued - be drawn. In addition, sustained engagement with deci - interactions between the assessment partners and stake sion-makers and end users helps scientists understand what - holders and the scientific community; and 4) support the ca information society wants and needs, and provides mech - pacity of those engaged in assessment activities to maintain anisms for researchers to receive ongoing feedback on the such interactions. utility of the tools and data they provide. To provide decision-makers with more timely, concise, and An ongoing process that supports these forms of outreach useful information, a sustained assessment process would and engagement allows for more comprehensive and insight - include both ongoing, extensive engagement with public ful evaluation of climate changes across the nation, including and private partners and targeted, scientifically rigorous how decision-makers and end users are responding to these reports that address concerns in a timely fashion. A growing changes. The most thoughtful and robust responses to climate change can be made only when these complex issues, including the underlying science and its many implications for the nation, are doc - umented and communicated in a way that both scientists and non-scientists can understand. This sustained assessment process will lead to better outcomes by providing more relevant, compre - hensible, and usable knowledge to guide decisions related to climate change at local, regional, and national scales. More information is available in the NCADAC special report “Preparing the Nation for Change: Building a Sustained National Climate 2 Assessment.” Ongoing monitoring and observations can help guide decision-making. 94

103 us c on rocess p T Men ssess a Tained Tribu s a oF Tions In addition to producing the quadrennial assessment reports required by the 1990 Global Change Research Act, a well-designed and executed sustained assessment process would produce many other important outcomes: 1. Increase the nation’s capacity to measure and evaluate the impacts of and responses to further climate change in the U.S., locally, regionally, and nationally. 2. Improve the collection of assessment-related critical data, access to those data, and the capacity of users to work with datasets – including their use in decision support tools – relevant to their specific issues and inter - ests. This includes periodically assessing how users are applying such data. 3. Support the creation of the first integrated suite of national indicators of climate-related trends across a variety of important climate drivers and responses. 4. Catalyze the production of targeted, in-depth reports on various topics that help inform choices about mitiga - tion and adaptation. These reports would generate new insights about climate change, its impacts, and the effectiveness of societal responses. In addition, other reports could focus on improvements to aspects of the process (for example, scenarios and indicators) to reinforce the foundation for the quadrennial assessments. Facilitate, support, and leverage a network of scientific, decision-maker, and user communities for extended 5. dialog and engagement regarding climate change. 6. Provide a systematic way to identify gaps in knowledge and uncertainties faced by the scientific community and by U.S. domestic and international partners and to assist in setting priorities for their resolution. 7. Enhance integration with other assessment efforts such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and modeling efforts such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. 8. Develop and apply tools to evaluate progress and guide improvements in processes and products over time, supporting an iterative approach to managing risks and opportunities associated with changing conditions. For example, several important topics could not be com - Research Needs prehensively covered in this assessment and could be Five priority research goals have been identified to advance future climate and global change assessments. considered in future reports. These include analyses of the - economic costs of climate change impacts (and the associ Improve understanding of the climate system and its • ated benefits of mitigation and adaptation strategies); the drivers. • considerations related to climate change for U.S. national Improve understanding of climate impacts and security, as appropriate, as a topic integrated with other vulnerability. • Increase understanding of adaptation pathways. regional and sectoral discussions; and the interactions of • adaptation and mitigation options, including consideration Identify the mitigation options that reduce the risk of longer-term climate change. of the co-benefits and potential unintended consequences Improve decision support and integrated assessment. • of particular decisions. - This assessment also identifies five cross-cutting foun The following criteria should be considered in establishing dational capabilities that are essential for advancing the research priorities that support assessments: Promote understanding of the fundamental behavior • ability to continue to conduct climate and global change assessments and for addressing the five research goals. of the Earth’s climate and environmental systems. • Promote understanding of the socioeconomic impacts • Integrate natural and social science, engineering, and of a changing climate. other disciplinary approaches. • • Build capacity to assess risks and consequences. Ensure availability of observations, monitoring, and infrastructure for critical data collection and analysis. • Support research that enables the infrastructure need - Build capacity for climate assessment through training, • ed for analysis. education, and workforce development. Build decision support capacity. • Enhance the development and use of scenarios. Support engagement of the private sector and invest - • • ment communities. • Promote international research and collaboration. Leverage private sector, university, and international • These are not intended to prescribe a specific research resources and partnerships. agenda but rather to summarize the research needs and gaps that emerged during development of this NCA that are relevant to the development of future research plans. 95

104 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS As climate change and its impacts country as governments, businesses, become more prevalent, Americans and individuals begin to respond to There is still time to act face choices. Although some addi - climate change. These include efforts to limit the amount of climate tional climate change and related to reduce heat-trapping emissions change and the extent of impacts are now unavoidable, the and adapt to changing conditions. damaging impacts. amount of future climate change There are many pathways to sig - and its consequences will still largely nificantly reduce heat-trapping gas be determined by our choices, now emissions. In addition, actions to reduce emissions can and in the near future. There is still time to act to limit the yield benefits for objectives apart from managing climate amount of climate change and the extent of damaging change, such as increasing energy security and improving impacts we will face. human health. Similarly, actions to prepare for and adapt This report offers an overview of some of the options to climate change impacts can also improve our resilience and activities being implemented or planned around the in other ways. Across the nation, Americans are beginning to act: Cities Mitigate and Adapt Managing Heavy Rainfall Municipalities across the country are increasingly Many cities are undertaking initiatives to reduce - heat-trapping gas emissions. More than 1,055 munici implementing a range of adaptation options to manage the increase in heavy downpours, including using green palities from all 50 states have signed the U.S. Mayors roofs, rain gardens, roadside plantings, porous pave Climate Protection Agreement, and many of these - ment, and rainwater harvesting. These techniques typ communities are actively implementing strategies to - ically utilize soils and vegetation to absorb runoff close reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. By integrating to where it falls, limiting flooding and sewer backups. climate-change considerations into daily operations, some cities are forestalling the need to develop new or In Maine, an initiative is underway to help towns adapt - culverts to handle the heavier rainfalls already occur isolated climate change specific policies or procedures. This strategy enables cities and other government ring and expected to increase further over the lifetime agencies to take advantage of existing funding sources of the culverts. People are creating decision tools to map culvert locations, schedule maintenance, estimate and programs and achieve co-benefits in areas such as needed culvert size, and analyze replacement needs sustainability, public health, economic development, - and costs. There are complex, multi-jurisdictional chal disaster preparedness, and environmental justice. lenges for even such seemingly simple actions as using Pursuing low-cost, no-regrets options is a particularly larger culverts to carry water from major storms. attractive short-term strategy for many cities. 96

105 Achieving the lower emissions other heat-trapping gases, like pathway used in this assessment hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), widely Climate change presents us would require substantial decarbon - used for refrigeration. with both challenges and ization of the global economy by opportunities. the end of this century, implying a The United States has declared a fundamental transformation of the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas global energy system. emissions about 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 through a range of actions, including limit - Many technologies are potentially available to accomplish ing carbon emissions from power plants and continuing emissions reduction. They include ways to increase the to increase the fuel economy of cars and trucks and the efficiency of energy use and facilitate a shift to low-carbon energy efficiency of buildings. The U.S. has also indicated energy sources, improvements in the cost and perfor - that it will seek to exert leadership internationally. mance of renewables (such as wind, solar, and bioenergy) and nuclear energy, ways to reduce the cost of carbon Climate change presents us with both challenges and op - capture and storage, means to expand carbon sinks portunities. The information contained in this report can through management of forests and soils and increased help enable our society to effectively respond and prepare agricultural productivity, and phasing down the use of for our future. Northeast Takes Action California Acts to Reduce Emissions California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) The most well-known, multi-state effort has been the is an ambitious law that sets a state goal to reduce Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), formed its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by by ten northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states (though New Jersey exited in 2011). RGGI is a cap-and-trade 2020. The state program caps emissions and uses a system applied to the power sector with revenue from market-based system of trading in emissions credits allowance auctions (cap-and-trade), limits imports of baseload electricity generation from coal and oil, and implements a directed to invest - ments in efficiency number of other regulatory actions. and renewable energy. Southwest Ramps Up Renewables The Southwest’s abundant geothermal, wind, and solar power-generation resources could help transform the region’s electric generating system into one that uses substantially more renewable energy. This transforma - tion has already started, driven in part by renewable energy portfolio standards that require a certain amount of electricity to be generated with renewables. These standards have been adopted by five of six Southwest states, and also include renewable energy goals in Utah. 97

106 nca eaMs T T uThor a hird 4. Energy Supply and Use 1. Overview and Report Findings Convening Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors Jan Dell, ConocoPhillips Jerry Melillo, Marine Biological Laboratory Susan Tierney, Analysis Group Consultants Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Van Ness Feldman, LLP Lead Authors Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University Guido Franco, California Energy Commission Richard G. Newell, Duke University 2. Our Changing Climate Rich Richels, Electric Power Research Institute Convening Lead Authors John Weyant, Stanford University John Walsh, University of Alaska Fairbanks Thomas J. Wilbanks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois 5. Transportation Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University Henry G. Schwartz, HGS Consulting, LLC James Kossin, NOAA National Climatic Data Center Michael Meyer, Parsons Brinckerhoff Kenneth Kunkel, CICS-NC, North Carolina State Univ., Lead Authors NOAA National Climatic Data Center Cynthia J. Burbank, Parsons Brinckerhoff Graeme Stephens, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Michael Kuby, Arizona State University Peter Thorne, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center Clinton Oster, Indiana University Russell Vose, NOAA National Climatic Data Center John Posey, East-West Gateway Council of Governments Michael Wehner, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Edmond J Russo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Josh Willis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Arthur Rypinski, U.S. Department of Transportation Contributing Authors David Anderson, NOAA National Climatic Data Center 6. Agriculture Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Convening Lead Authors Richard Feely, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Jerry Hatfield, U.S. Department of Agriculture Paula Hennon, CICS-NC, North Carolina State Univ., Gene Takle, Iowa State University NOAA National Climatic Data Center Lead Authors Viatcheslav Kharin, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Richard Grotjahn, University of California, Davis Environment Canada Patrick Holden, Waterborne Environmental, Inc. Thomas Knutson, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory R. Cesar Izaurralde, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Felix Landerer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Terry Mader, University of Nebraska, Lincoln Tim Lenton, Exeter University Elizabeth Marshall, U.S. Department of Agriculture John Kennedy, UK Meteorological Office Contributing Authors Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Diana Liverman, University of Arizona Univ. of California, San Diego 3. Water Resources 7. Forests Convening Lead Authors: Convening Lead Authors Aris Georgakakos, Georgia Institute of Technology Linda A. Joyce, U.S. Forest Service Paul Fleming, Seattle Public Utilities Steven W. Running, University of Montana Lead Authors Lead Authors: David D. Breshears, University of Arizona Michael Dettinger, U.S. Geological Survey Virginia H. Dale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Christa Peters-Lidard, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Robert W. Malmsheimer, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Van Ness Feldman, LLP R. Neil Sampson, Vision Forestry, LLC Ken Reckhow, Duke University Kathleen White, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Brent Sohngen, Ohio State University Christopher W. Woodall, U.S. Forest Service David Yates, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research 98

107 8. Ecosystems, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services 11. Urban Systems, Infrastructure, and Vulnerability Convening Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors Peter M. Groffman, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Susan L. Cutter, University of South Carolina Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy William Solecki, City University of New York Lead Authors Lead Authors Shawn Carter, U.S. Geological Survey Nancy Bragado, City of San Diego JoAnn Carmin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Nancy B. Grimm, Arizona State University Josh Lawler, University of Washington Michail Fragkias, Boise State University Matthias Ruth, Northeastern University Michelle Mack, University of Florida Thomas J. Wilbanks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Virginia Matzek, Santa Clara University Heather Tallis, Stanford University 12. Indigenous Peoples, Lands, and Resources Convening Lead Authors 9. Human Health Convening Lead Authors T.M. Bull Bennett, Kiksapa Consulting, LLC George Luber, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Nancy G. Maynard, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Kim Knowlton, Natural Resources Defense Council and Mailman School of University of Miami Public Health, Columbia University Lead Authors Lead Authors Patricia Cochran, Alaska Native Science Commission John Balbus, National Institutes of Health Robert Gough, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy Howard Frumkin, University of Washington Kathy Lynn, University of Oregon Mary Hayden, National Center for Atmospheric Research Julie Maldonado, American University, Jeremy Hess, Emory University University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Michael McGeehin, RTI International Garrit Voggesser, National Wildlife Federation Nicky Sheats, Thomas Edison State College Susan Wotkyns, Northern Arizona University Contributing Authors Contributing Authors Lorraine Backer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Karen Cozzetto, University of Colorado at Boulder C. Ben Beard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 13. Land Use and Land Cover Change Kristie L. Ebi, ClimAdapt, LLC Convening Lead Authors Edward Maibach, George Mason University Daniel G. Brown, University of Michigan Richard S. Ostfeld, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Colin Polsky, Clark University Christine Wiedinmyer, National Center for Atmospheric Research Lead Authors Emily Zielinski-Gutiérrez, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Paul Bolstad, University of Minnesota Lewis Ziska, U.S. Department of Agriculture Samuel D. Brody, Texas A&M University at Galveston 10. Energy, Water, and Land Use David Hulse, University of Oregon Convening Lead Authors Roger Kroh, Mid-America Regional Council Kathy Hibbard, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Thomas R. Loveland, U.S. Geological Survey Tom Wilson, Electric Power Research Institute Allison Thomson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Lead Authors Kristen Averyt, University of Colorado Boulder Robert Harriss, Environmental Defense Fund Robin Newmark, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Steven Rose, Electric Power Research Institute Elena Shevliakova, Princeton University Vincent Tidwell, Sandia National Laboratories 99

108 hird eaMs T nca a T uThor 17. Southeast and Caribbean 14. Rural Communities Convening Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors David Hales, Second Nature Lynne M. Carter, Louisiana State University William Hohenstein, U.S. Department of Agriculture James W. Jones, University of Florida Lead Authors Lead Authors Marcie D. Bidwell, Mountain Studies Institute Leonard Berry, Florida Atlantic University Virginia Burkett, U.S. Geological Survey Craig Landry, East Carolina University James F. Murley, South Florida Regional Planning Council David McGranahan, U.S. Department of Agriculture Joseph Molnar, Auburn University Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District Paul J. Schramm, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lois Wright Morton, Iowa State University Marcela Vasquez, University of Arizona David Wear, U.S. Forest Service Contributing Authors 18. Midwest Jenna Jadin, U.S. Department of Agriculture Convening Lead Authors 15. Biogeochemical Cycles Sara C. Pryor, Indiana University Convening Lead Authors Donald Scavia, University of Michigan James N. Galloway, University of Virginia Lead Authors William H. Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Charles Downer, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Lead Authors Marc Gaden, Great Lakes Fishery Commission Christopher M. Clark, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Louis Iverson, U.S. Forest Service Nancy B. Grimm, Arizona State University Rolf Nordstrom, Great Plains Institute Robert B. Jackson, Duke University Jonathan Patz, University of Wisconsin Beverly E. Law, Oregon State University G. Philip Robertson, Michigan State University Peter E. Thornton, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 19. Great Plains Alan R. Townsend, University of Colorado Boulder Convening Lead Authors Contributing Author Mark Shafer, Oklahoma Climatological Survey Rebecca Martin, Washington State University Vancouver Dennis Ojima, Colorado State University 16. Northeast Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors John M. Antle, Oregon State University Radley Horton, Columbia University Doug Kluck, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University Renee A. McPherson, University of Oklahoma Lead Authors Sascha Petersen, Adaptation International William Easterling, Pennsylvania State University Bridget Scanlon, University of Texas Robert Kates, University of Maine Kathleen Sherman, Colorado State University Matthias Ruth, Northeastern University 20. Southwest Edna Sussman, Fordham University School of Law Convening Lead Authors Adam Whelchel, The Nature Conservancy Gregg Garfin, University of Arizona David Wolfe, Cornell University Guido Franco, California Energy Commission Contributing Author Lead Authors Fredric Lipschultz, NASA and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences Hilda Blanco, University of Southern California Andrew Comrie, University of Arizona Patrick Gonzalez, National Park Service Thomas Piechota, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebecca Smyth, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Reagan Waskom, Colorado State University 100

109 21. Northwest 24. Oceans and Marine Resources Convening Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Philip Mote, Oregon State University Andrew A. Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists Amy K. Snover, University of Washington Lead Authors Lead Authors Susan Capalbo, Oregon State University Michael Alexander, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Francisco Chavez, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Sanford D. Eigenbrode, University of Idaho Patty Glick, National Wildlife Federation C. Drew Harvell, Cornell University Jeremy Littell, U.S. Geological Survey Gretchen Hofmann, University of California Santa Barbara Michael Orbach, Duke University Richard Raymondi, Idaho Department of Water Resources Spencer Reeder, Cascadia Consulting Group Mary Ruckelshaus, Natural Capital Project 25. Coastal Zone Development and Ecosystems 22. Alaska Convening Lead Authors Convening Lead Authors Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting and F. Stuart Chapin III, University of Alaska Fairbanks Stanford University Sarah F. Trainor, University of Alaska Fairbanks Margaret A. Davidson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lead Authors Lead Authors Patricia Cochran, Alaska Native Science Commission Paul Kirshen, University of New Hampshire Henry Huntington, Huntington Consulting Carl Markon, U.S. Geological Survey Peter Mulvaney, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Molly McCammon, Alaska Ocean Observing System James F. Murley, South Florida Regional Planning Council James E. Neumann, Industrial Economics, Inc. A. David McGuire, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Alaska Fairbanks Mark Serreze, University of Colorado Laura Petes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Denise Reed, The Water Institute of the Gulf 23. Hawai‘i and U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands 26. Decision Support: Connecting Science, Risk Convening Lead Authors Perception, and Decisions Jo-Ann Leong, University of Hawai‘i Convening Lead Authors John J. Marra, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Richard Moss, Joint Global Change Research Institute, Lead Authors Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Maryland Melissa L. Finucane, East-West Center P. Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy Thomas Giambelluca, University of Hawai‘i Lead Authors Mark Merrifield, University of Hawai‘i Melissa A. Kenney, University of Maryland Stephen E. Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Howard Kunreuther, University of Pennsylvania Jeffrey Polovina, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Robert Lempert, RAND Corporation Eileen Shea, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Jay Manning, Cascadia Law Group Contributing Authors B. Ken Williams, The Wildlife Society Maxine Burkett, University of Hawai‘i Contributing Authors John Campbell, University of Waikato James W. Boyd, Resources for the Future Penehuro Lefale, Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd. Emily T. Cloyd, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Fredric Lipschultz, NASA and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences Laurna Kaatz, Denver Water Lloyd Loope, U.S. Geological Survey Lindene Patton, Zurich North America Deanna Spooner, Pacific Island Climate Change Cooperative Bin Wang, University of Hawai‘i 101

110 eaMs T uThor a nca hird T 27. Mitigation 30. Sustained Assessment: A New Vision for Future Convening Lead Authors U.S. Assessments Convening Lead Authors Henry D. Jacoby, Massachusetts Institute of Technology John A. Hall, U.S. Department of Defense Anthony C. Janetos, Boston University Maria Blair, Independent Lead Authors Lead Authors Richard Birdsey, U.S. Forest Service James L. Buizer, University of Arizona James Buizer, University of Arizona David I. Gustafson, Monsanto Company Katherine Calvin, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Maryland Brian Holland, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Francisco de la Chesnaye, Electric Power Research Institute Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting and David Schimel, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Stanford University Ian Sue Wing, Boston University Anne M. Waple, Second Nature and University Corporation for Contributing Authors Atmospheric Research Reid Detchon, United Nations Foundation Jae Edmonds, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Maryland Appendix 3. Climate Science Supplement, and Lynn Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Appendix 4. Frequently Asked Questions University of California, San Diego Convening Lead Authors Jason West, University of North Carolina John Walsh, University of Alaska Fairbanks 28. Adaptation Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois Convening Lead Authors Lead Authors Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University Arthur Lee, Chevron Corporation James Kossin, NOAA National Climatic Data Center Joel Smith, Stratus Consulting Kenneth Kunkel, CICS-NC, North Carolina State Univ., Lead Authors NOAA National Climatic Data Center Maria Blair, Independent Graeme Stephens, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Lynne M. Carter, Louisiana State University Peter Thorne, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center F. Stuart Chapin III, University of Alaska Fairbanks Russell Vose, NOAA National Climatic Data Center Paul Fleming, Seattle Public Utilities Michael Wehner, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Susan Ruffo, The Nature Conservancy Josh Willis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Contributing Authors Contributing Authors Shannon McNeeley, Colorado State University David Anderson, NOAA National Climatic Data Center Missy Stults, University of Michigan Viatcheslav Kharin, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Laura Verduzco, Chevron Corporation Environment Canada Emily Seyller, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Thomas Knutson, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Felix Landerer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 29. Research Needs for Climate and Global Change Tim Lenton, Exeter University Assessments John Kennedy, UK Meteorological Office Convening Lead Authors Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Robert W. Corell, Florida International University and the GETF Center for Univ. of California, San Diego Energy and Climate Solutions Diana Liverman, University of Arizona Lead Authors Kirstin Dow, University of South Carolina Kristie L. Ebi, ClimAdapt, LLC Kenneth Kunkel, CICS-NC, North Carolina State Univ., NOAA National Climatic Data Center Linda O. Mearns, National Center for Atmospheric Research Jerry Melillo, Marine Biological Laboratory 102

111 aTional Te s Technical Support Unit, National Climatic Data n c ssessMenT a TaFF liMa Center, NOAA/NESDIS USGCRP National Climate Assessment Coordination David Easterling, NCA Technical Support Unit Director, NOAA National Climatic Office Data Center (from March 2013) Katharine Jacobs, Director, National Climate Assessment, White House Office of Anne Waple, NCA Technical Support Unit Director, NOAA NCDC / UCAR Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) (through December 2013) / University (through February 2013) of Arizona Susan Joy Hassol, Senior Science Writer, Climate Communication, LLC / Fabien Laurier, Director, Third National Climate Assessment, White House Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University OSTP (previously Deputy Director, USGCRP) (from December 2013) (CICS-NC) Glynis Lough, NCA Chief of Staff, USGCRP / UCAR (from June 2012) Paula Ann Hennon, NCA Technical Support Unit Deputy Director, CICS-NC Sheila O’Brien, NCA Chief of Staff, USGCRP / UCAR (through May 2012) Kenneth Kunkel, Chief Scientist, CICS-NC Susan Aragon-Long, NCA Senior Scientist and Sector Coordinator, U.S. Sara W. Veasey, Creative Director, NOAA NCDC Geological Survey Andrew Buddenberg, Software Engineer/Scientific Programmer, CICS-NC Ralph Cantral, NCA Senior Scientist and Sector Coordinator, NOAA Fred Burnett, Administrative Assistant, Jamison Professional Services, Inc. (through November 2012) Sarah Champion, Scientific Data Curator and Process Analyst, CICS-NC Tess Carter, Student Assistant, Brown University Doreen DiCarlo, Program Coordinator, CICS-NC (August 2011-April 2012) Emily Therese Cloyd, NCA Public Participation and Engagement Coordinator, Daniel Glick, Editor, CICS-NC USGCRP / UCAR Jessicca Griffin, Lead Graphic Designer, CICS-NC Chelsea Combest-Friedman, NCA International Coordinator, Knauss Marine John Keck, Web Consultant, LMI, Inc. (August 2010 - September 2011) Policy Fellow, NOAA (February 2011-February 2012) Angel Li, Web Developer, CICS-NC Alison Delgado, NCA Scientist and Sector Coordinator, Pacific Northwest Clark Lind, Administrative Assistant, The Baldwin Group, Inc. National Laboratory, Joint Global Change Research Institute, University of (January-September 2012) Maryland (from October 2012) Liz Love-Brotak, Graphic Designer, NOAA NCDC William Emanuel, NCA Senior Scientist and Sector Coordinator, Pacific Tom Maycock, Technical Editor, CICS-NC Northwest National Laboratory, Joint Global Change Research Institute, Janice Mills, Business Manager, CICS-NC University of Maryland (June 2011-September 2012) Deb Misch, Graphic Designer, Jamison Professional Services, Inc. Matt Erickson, Student Assistant, Washington State University Julie Moore, Administrative Assistant, The Baldwin Group, Inc. (July-October 2012) (June 2010-January 2012) Ilya Fischhoff, NCA Program Coordinator, USGCRP / UCAR Ana Pinheiro-Privette, Data Coordinator, CICS-NC (January 2012-July 2013) Elizabeth Fly, NCA Coastal Coordinator, Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, NOAA Deborah B. Riddle, Graphic Designer, NOAA NCDC (February 2013-January 2014) April Sides, Web Developer, ERT, Inc. Chelcy Ford, NCA Sector Coordinator, USFS (August-November 2011) Laura E. Stevens, Research Scientist, CICS-NC Wyatt Freeman, Student Assistant, George Mason University / UCAR Scott Stevens, Support Scientist, CICS-NC (May-September 2012) Brooke Stewart, Science Editor/Production Coordinator, CICS-NC Bryce Golden-Chen, NCA Program Coordinator, USGCRP / UCAR Liqiang Sun, Research Scientist/Modeling Support, CICS-NC Nancy Grimm, NCA Senior Scientist and Sector Coordinator, NSF / Arizona Robert Taylor, Student Assistant, UNC Asheville, CICS-NC State University (July 2011-September 2012) Devin Thomas, Metadata Specialist, ERT, Inc. Tess Hart, NCA Communications Assistant, USGCRP / UCAR (June-July 2011) Teresa Young, Print Specialist, Team ERT/STG, Inc. Melissa Kenney, NCA Indicators Coordinator, NOAA / University of Maryland Review Editors Fredric Lipschultz, NCA Senior Scientist and Regional Coordinator, NASA / Joseph Arvai, University of Calgary Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences Peter Backlund, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Stuart Luther, Student Assistant, Arizona State University / UCAR Lawrence Band, University of North Carolina (June-August 2011) Jill S. Baron, U.S. Geological Survey / Colorado State University Julie Maldonado, NCA Engagement Assistant and Tribal Coordinator, Michelle L. Bell, Yale University USGCRP / UCAR Donald Boesch, University of Maryland Krista Mantsch, Student Assistant, Indiana University / UCAR Joel R. Brown, New Mexico State University (May-September 2013) Ingrid C. (Indy) Burke, University of Wyoming Rebecca Martin, Student Assistant, Washington State University Gina Campoli, Vermont Agency of Transportation (June-August 2012) Mary Anne Carroll, University of Michigan Paul Schramm, NCA Sector Coordinator, Centers for Disease Control and Scott L. Collins, University of New Mexico Prevention (June-November 2010) 103

112 liMa TaFF n aTional s ssessMenT a Te c John Daigle, University of Maine Jack Kaye, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ruth DeFries, Columbia University Michael Kuperberg, U.S. Department of Energy Lisa Dilling, University of Colorado C. Andrew Miller, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Otto C. Doering III, Purdue University Arthur Rypinski, U.S. Department of Transportation Hadi Dowlatabadi, University of British Columbia Joann Roskoski, National Science Foundation Charles T. Driscoll, Syracuse University Trigg Talley, U.S. Department of State Hallie C. Eakin, Arizona State University Interagency National Climate Assessment John Farrington, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Working Group Chris E. Forest, Pennsylvania State University Chair Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, University of Minnesota Katharine Jacobs, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Adam Freed, The Nature Conservancy (through December 2013) Robert Fri, Resources for the Future Fabien Laurier, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Stephen T. Gray, U.S. Geological Survey (from December 2013) Jay Gulledge, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Vice-Chair Terrie Klinger, University of Washington Virginia Burkett, U.S. Department of the Interior – U.S. Geological Ian Kraucunas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Survey (from March 2013) Larissa Larsen, University of Michigan Anne Waple, NOAA NCDC / UCAR (through February 2013) William J. Massman, U.S. Forest Service Michael D. Mastrandrea, Stanford University National Aeronautics and Space Administration Pamela Matson, Stanford University Allison Leidner, Earth Science Division / Universities Space Research Ronald G. Prinn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Association J.C. Randolph, Indiana University G. Philip Robertson, Michigan State University National Science Foundation David Robinson, Rutgers University Anjuli Bamzai, Directorate for Geosciences (through May 2011) Dork Sahagian, Lehigh University Eve Gruntfest, Directorate for Geosciences (January-November 2013) Christopher A. Scott, University of Arizona Rita Teutonico, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Peter Vitousek, Stanford University (through January 2011) Andrew C. Wood, NOAA Smithsonian Institution United States Global Change Research Program Thomas Armstrong (OSTP), Executive Director, USGCRP Leonard Hirsch, Office of the Undersecretary for Science Chris Weaver (OSTP / EPA), Deputy Executive Director, USGCRP U.S. Department of Agriculture Linda Langner, U.S. Forest Service (through January 2011) Subcommittee on Global Change Research Chair Carolyn Olson, Office of the Chief Economist Thomas Karl, U.S. Department of Commerce Toral Patel-Weynand, U.S. Forest Service Vice Chairs Louie Tupas, National Institute of Food and Agriculture Ann Bartuska, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vice Chair, Adaptation Science Margaret Walsh, Office of the Chief Economist Gerald Geernaert, U.S. Department of Energy, Vice Chair, Integrated Modeling U.S. Department of Commerce Mike Freilich, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Vice Chair, Ko Barrett, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Integrated Observations (from February 2013) Roger Wakimoto, National Science Foundation, Vice-Chair David Easterling, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – National Principals Climatic Data Center (from March 2013) John Balbus, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nancy McNabb, National Institute of Standards and Technology Katharine Batten, U.S. Agency for International Development (from February 2013) Joel Clement, U.S. Department of the Interior Adam Parris, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Robert Detrick, U.S. Department of Commerce Anne Waple, NOAA NCDC / UCAR (through February 2013) Scott L. Harper, U.S. Department of Defense Leonard Hirsch, Smithsonian Institution William Hohenstein, U.S. Department of Agriculture 104

113 p ho To c rediTs U.S. Department of Defense Cover–Sandbagging: DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane, U.S. Air Force; William Goran, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Oil rig and wind turbine: ©Jim West/imagebroker/Corbis; Fireman: ©AP John Hall, Office of the Secretary of Defense Photo/The Press-Enterprise/Terry Pierson; Solar panel: Katherine Nixon, Navy Task Force Climate Change (from May 2013) ©Dennis Schroeder, NREL; Blue-green textured background on front and Courtney St. John, Navy Task Force Climate Change (through August 2012) back covers and on title page: ©iStockPhoto.com/javaman3 U.S. Department of Energy pg. viii–Man in field: ©John Fedele/Blend Images/Corbis; Man standing in flood Robert Vallario, Office of Science waters: ©Dave Martin/AP/AP/Corbis pg. 2–Woman inspecting grapes: ©Ted Wood Photography U.S. Department of Health and Human Services pg. 3–Man holding soil: ©iStockPhoto.com/shotbydave; Woman and John Balbus, National Institutes of Health solar panel: © Bill Miles/Mint Images/Corbis Paul Schramm, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (through July 2011) pg. 4–Coal-fired power plant: ©Frans Lanting/Corbis pg. 9–Athlete using inhaler: ©National Geographic Society; Middle school U.S. Department of Homeland Security students testing water quality: ©Ted Wood Photography Mike Kangior, Office of Policy (from November 2011) pg. 11–Man riding bike: ©John Sebastian Russo/San Francisco Chronicle/ John Laws, National Protection and Programs Directorate (from May 2013) Corbis; Green roofs: ©Proehl Studios/Corbis; House built on stilts: Courtesy of FEMA U.S. Department of the Interior pg. 12–Person pumping gas: Charles Minshew/KOMU; People cooling off Susan Aragon-Long, U.S. Geological Survey during heatwave: ©Julie Jacobson/AP/Corbis; Smog over city: Virginia Burkett, U.S. Geological Survey ©iStockPhoto.com/Daniel Stein; Child blowing nose: ©Stockbyte/ Leigh Welling, National Park Service (through May 2011) Getty Images pg. 13–Mosquito: ©James Gathany, CDC; Road washed out due to flooding: U.S. Department of State ©John Wark/AP/Corbis; Mountain stream: ©Dan Sherwood/Design Pics/ David Reidmiller, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Corbis; Farmer with corn: ©iStockPhoto.com/ValentinRussanov & Scientific Affairs pg. 14–Person building house: ©Aaron Huey/National Geographic Kenli Kim, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Society/Corbis; Bear: ©Chase Swift/Corbis; Manatee: US Fish and Wildlife & Scientific Affairs (from February 2013) Service; Person with solar panels: ©Dennis Schroeder, NREL pg. 15–People fishing in front of power plant: ©Ted Wood Photography U.S. Department of Transportation pg. 16–Chicago sunset: ©Bill Ross/Corbis; Farm during drought: ©Scott Olson/ Arthur Rypinski, Office of the Secretary Getty Images; North Atlantic hurricane: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Mike Savonis, Federal Highway Administration (through March 2011) Response Team, NASA/GSFC caption; Supercell thunderstorm over a plain: AJ Singletary, Office of the Secretary (through August 2010) ©Roger Hill/Science Photo Library/Corbis; Blue marble globe: courtesy NASA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pg. 17– Blue marble globe: courtesy NASA; Clouds with precipitation: ©Eric Rona Birnbaum, Office of Air and Radiation Raptosh Photography/Blend Images/Corbis; Car in flooded road: ©James Anne Grambsch, Office of Research and Development Borchuck/ZUMA Press/Corbis; field: ©AgStock Images/Corbis; Ice melt: Lesley Jantarasami, Office of Air and Radiation ©Steve Morgan/epa/Corbis; Beach waves near city: ©Joe Raedle/Getty , Images; Dissolved shell in acidified ocean water: David Liittschwager White House Council on Environmental Quality National Geographic Images Jeff Peterson (through July 2013) pg. 19–Calving ice sheet: ©Paul Souders/Corbis Jamie Pool (from February 2013) pg. 20–Muir Glacier, AK in 1941: ©William O. Field; Muir Glacier, AK in 2004: ©Bruce F. Molnia, U.S. Geological Survey White House Office of Management and Budget pg. 23–Highway traffic: ©Tom Mihalek/Reuters/Corbis; Power plant: ©Phillip J. Stuart Levenbach (through May 2012) Redman, U.S. Geological Survey pg. 27–North Atlantic hurricane: NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab; Cars White House Office of Science and Technology Policy washed away in storm surge: ©Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images; Abandoned Katharine Jacobs, Environment and Energy Division (through December 2013) cars during winter storm: ©John Zich/zrImages/Corbis Fabien Laurier, Environment and Energy Division (from December 2013) pg. 30–Wheat field in sunlight: ©iStockPhoto.com/Mazuryk Mykola pg. 31–Wind turbines: ©iStockPhoto.com/Patrick Poendl, all rights reserved With special thanks to former NOAA Administrator, Jane Lubchenco and former pg. 32–Coastal flooding: courtesy NOAA Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Shere Abbott 105

114 rediTs p ho To c pg. 33–Coral bleaching: courtesy Ernesto Weil; Farmer observing drought: pg. 70–Autumn forest: ©Frank Siteman/Science Faction/Corbis ©Scott Olson/Getty Images pg. 71–Stormwater wetland in Philadelphia: ©Louis Cook for PWD pg. 34–Satellite image of smoke and fires: courtesy NASA/GSFC pg. 72–Beach: ©Richard H. Cohen/Corbis pg. 35–Person sneezing: ©Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis pg. 73–Clayton County, GA water recycling project: ©CCWA pg. 36–Man wiping forehead: ©Richard Drew/AP/Corbis pg. 74–Midwest farm: ©iStockPhoto.com/George_Burga pg. 38–Utility worker: ©Gene Blevins; Worker inspecting damaged road: ©AP pg. 75–Flood in Cedar Falls: ©American Red Cross_Flickr Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley; Urban power outage: ©Iwan Baan/ pg. 76–Bison in field: ©USFWS; Man and mailbox in flood: ©Lane ark Reportage by Getty Images; Road washed out due to flooding: ©John W Hickenbottom/Reuters/Corbis pg. 39–Flooded subway: ©William Vantuono, Railway Age Magazine pg. 77–Officer walking across cracked lakebed: ©Tony Gutierrez/AP/Corbis; pg. 42–Mountain stream: ©Dan Sherwood/Design Pics/Corbis Lakota tribe girl: ©Aaron Huey pg. 45–Hydroelectric plant: ©James Christensen/Foto Natura/Minden Pictures/ pg. 78–Southwest image: ©Momatiuk-Eastcott/Corbis; Southwest image: Corbis; Wind turbines and cows: ©John Epperson/The Denver Post/Getty ©Momatiuk-Eastcott/Corbis; Firefighters and wildfire: ©Frans Lanting/Corbis Images pg. 80–Northwest image: Bryant Olsen, USFWS; Salmon: courtesy NOAA pg. 46–Man inspecting wheat: ©iStockPhoto.com/small_frog pg. 81–Woman and oyster harvest: ©Macduff Everton/Corbis; Estuary pg. 47–Farmer with corn: ©iStockPhoto.com/ValentinRussanov restoration: Jesse Barham, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pg. 48–Salmon fishing on Klamath River: ©David McLain/Aurora Photos pg. 82–Alaska image: ©Bryan F. Peterson/Corbis; Inupiaq seal hunter: pg. 49–Wild rice harvesting: © Phil Schermeister/Corbis; Man and girl surveying ©Daniel Glick water line: ©Mike Brubaker pg. 83–Shore-protection structure: ©Carl Schoch; Newtok, Shishmaref village: pg. 50–Mt. Rainier, WA: ©Tim Fitzharris/Minden Pictures/Corbis ©Ned Rozell pg. 51–Person walking in forest: ©Michele Westmorland/Corbis pg. 84–Hawaiian image: ©Michael Wells/fstop/Corbis; Ko`olau Mountains, pg. 53–Alaska wildfire: ©Daryl Pederson/AlaskaStock/Corbis; Man inspecting Oahu, HI: ©kstrebor via Flickr; Laysan Island, Papahānaumokuākea Marine tree: ©Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty National Monument: Andy Collins, NOAA Images; Dead trees in forest: ©Pete McBride/National Geographic Society pg. 85–Coral reef: ©Ron Dahlquist/Corbis; Hawaiian waterfall: ©Air Maui pg. 54–Development along Colorado’s Front Range: ©Ted Wood Photography; pg. 86–Aerial farm view: ©W. Perry Conway/Corbis Wildfire approaching housing development: ©Elmer Frederick Fischer/Corbis pg. 87–Flooded corn field: ©Nati Harnik/AP/Corbis; River flood waters: ©STR/ pg. 56–Mussels: ©Doug Sokell/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis; Forest: ©Kevin Reuters/Corbis R. Morris/Corbis; Polar bears: ©Jenny E. Ross/Corbis; Pika: pg. 88–Coastal image: ©Ocean/Corbis; Coastal road damage: ©John Tlumacki/ ©iStockPhoto.com/Global_Exposure; Quaking aspen trees: ©Adam Jones/ The Boston Globe via Getty Images Visuals Unlimited/Corbis; Caribou calf: ©Matthias Breiter/Minden Pictures/ pg. 89–Natural gas platform: ©Eric Kulin/First Light/Corbis Corbis; Hawaiian mountain vegetation: ©Michael Interisano/Design pg. 91–New York City coastal ecosystem restoration: ©Department of City Pics/Corbis Planning, New York City pg. 57–Flying squirrel: ©Stephen Dalton/Minden Pictures/Corbis; Commercial pg. 94–Women discussing science findings: ©Lynn Laws Iowa State fisher: ©Jeffrey Rotman/Corbis; Sunflowers: ©Annie Griffiths Belt/Corbis; University 2013; Ongoing monitoring and observations: courtesy Black rat snake: ©Gary Meszaros/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis; Mother bird NOAA/NCDC and chick: ©Ronald Thompson/Frank Lane Picture Agency/Corbis; Two pg. 96–Men near culvert: ©Esperanza Stancioff, UMaine Extension and Maine birds in water: ©Arthur Morris/Corbis; Tree seedling: ©Philip Gould/Corbis; Sea Grant; New York City bus: ©Najlah Feanny/Corbis Lionfish: ©Bruce Smith/AP/Corbis pg. 97– Women with rooftop garden: ©Denise Applewhite, Princeton Univ.; pg. 59–Ocean: ©iStockPhoto.com/DigiClicks Southwest solar panels: ©Michael DeYoung/Blend Images/Corbis; Wind pg. 60–Coral bleaching: courtesy of NOAA turbines: ©Jerome Levitch/Corbis pg. 61–Fishing vessel: ©iStockPhoto.com/mayo5 Back Cover–Field: ©Timothy Hearsum/AgStock Images/Corbis; Woman and pg. 63–People discussing science findings: courtesy Armando Rodriguez, solar panel: ©Bill Miles/Mint Images/Corbis; Sea ice melt: Miami-Dade County ©Steve Morgan/epa/Corbis; Flood rescue workers and victim: pg. 65–Men installing solar panels: ©Don Mason/Blend Images/Corbis; Nuclear ©Adam Hunger/Reuters/Corbis power plant: ©Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis; Wind turbines at sunset: ©Layne Kennedy/Corbis; Workers on automobile assembly line: ©Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis; Smog over city: ©iStockPhoto. com/SteinPhoto pg. 66–Man assembling window: ©Carlos Osorio/AP/Corbis pg. 68–Denver water system: ©Photo courtesy Denver Water pg. 69–Ocean: ©iStockPhoto.com/AndrewJohnson 106

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148 U.S. National Climate Assessment This report summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. U.S. Global Change Research Program 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW • Suite 250 • Washington, DC 20006 USA http://www.globalchange.gov

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