Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment

The Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment is a comprehensive statewide report produced by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Energy and Climate. The report includes a summary of past climate trends and future climate projections for Delaware, and a synthesis of the best available climate science that describes current and future impacts of temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise. The climate change impacts are detailed for five key sectors including public health, water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems, and infrastructure. 

The sector chapters include a discussion of climate change impacts, which is a summary of published scientific literature on the observed and anticipated effects of changes in temperature, precipitation, extreme weather events, and sea level rise. This summary is based on peer-reviewed papers, reports, and studies from national and regional sources, and therefore the impacts described are often general to the U.S.

The discussion of “potential vulnerabilities” in each sector chapter focuses more directly on Delaware. These are vulnerabilities identified by scientists and practitioners within Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region. Sources of information include reports by state agencies and academic institutions as well as interviews with subject experts.

To develop future climate scenarios for Delaware, the Division of Energy and Climate contracted with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (ATMOS Research & Consulting). Dr. Hayhoe developed climate projections that provide average, seasonal, and extreme temperature and precipitation projections for the state through the year 2100 (Chapter 4). The Assessment includes both a summary of the findings and detailed graphs of 165 climate indicators developed through this analysis. Graphs and technical information can be found in the Appendix.

Publication Date: March 2014

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  • Assessment

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