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Confronting Climate Change in the Gulf Coast Region: Prospects for Sustaining Our Ecological Heritage

October 2001

This report from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Ecological Society of America explores the potential risks of climate change to Gulf Coast ecosystems in the context of pressures from land use. Its purpose is to help the public and policymakers understand the most likely ecological consequences of climate change in the region over the next 50 to 100 years, and prepare to safeguard the economy, culture, and natural heritage of the Gulf Coast.

Authors or Affiliated Users: R.R. Twilley, E.J. Barron, H.L. Gholz, M.A. Harwell, R.L. Miller, D.J. Reed, J.B. Rose, E.H. Siemann, R.G. Wetzel, R.J. Zimmerman

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Cool Surfaces and Shade Trees to Reduce Energy Use and Improve Air Quality in Urban Areas

2001

This article, published in Elsevier in 2002, outlines how cool surfaces (cool roofs and cool pavements) and urban trees can have a substantial effect on urban air temperature and, hence, can reduce cooling-energy use and smog. Using a dozen metropolitan cities as case studies, this paper demonstrates an estimate of about 20% of the national cooling demand can be avoided through a large-scale implementation of heat-island mitigation measures. This amounts to 40 TWh/ year savings, worth over $4B per year by 2015, in cooling-electricity savings alone.

Authors or Affiliated Users: H. Akbari, M. Pomerantz, H. Taha

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Marina, California Urban Growth Boundary Initiative

November 2000

In November 2000, the City of Marina approved an update to add an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) to its city General Plan and Local Coastal Program (LCP) to prevent urban sprawl and to preserve undeveloped land near the coast. The main purpose of the UGB Initiative is to restrict land within the UGB to open space and recreational uses until at least December 31, 2020 (when the current initiative expires, unless it is extended by the city). Low-density zones that were mapped along the coast provide the guidance and land-use controls for these areas. While the UGB and low-density zones were not established for the explicit purpose of managed retreat, they can serve as an example of land-use and zoning tools other municipalities could consider to conserve coasts, natural resources, and other open spaces in the face of sea-level rise and erosion.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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King County, Washington Flood Buyout and Home Elevation Program

Any structure located in a flood-prone area of unincorporated King County, Washington may be eligible for the Flood Buyout or Home Elevation Program grant funds. Structures covered by flood insurance with a history of repetitive flooding and those properties identified as part of a project in the Flood Hazard Management Plan will be more likely to be given priority for available program and grant funds. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Sea Level Rise and Global Climate Change: A Review of Impacts to U.S. Coasts

February 2000

This early report, published by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (now Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, C2ES), describes the threat that sea level rise poses, and identifies the specific types of impacts this phenomenon will likely have. The state of understanding of the impacts on U.S. coasts is reviewed, and impacts described include inundation of wetlands and lowlands, coastal erosion, increased vulnerability to flooding, and salinization of the water supply. 

Authors or Affiliated Users: James E. Neumann, Gary Yohe, Robert Nicholls, Michelle Manion

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast

2000

In this report, the relative vulnerability (the Coastal Vulnerability Index, or CVI) of different coastal environments to sea-level rise is quantified for the U. S. Gulf of Mexico Coast region. This initial classification is based upon variables such as coastal geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of sea-level rise, wave and tide characteristics, and historical shoreline change rates. The combination of these variables and the association of these variables to each other furnishes a broad overview of sub-regions where physical changes are likely to occur due to sea-level rise.

Authors or Affiliated Users: E. Robert Thieler, Erika S. Hammar-Klose

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment: Risk Increase to Infrastructure Due to Sea Level Rise

2000

A sub-set of the "2000 Metropolitan East Coast Assessment" from Columbia University, this report provides an assessment of the risks to transportation infrastructure from sea-level rise in the tri-state area surrounding New York City (encompassing parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).

Authors or Affiliated Users: Klaus H. Jacob, Noah Edelblum, Jonathan Arnold

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Funding Green Infrastructure in Pennsylvania: Funding the Future of Stormwater Management

undated

American Rivers produced this report describing strategies for funding and financing green infrastructure investments in Pennsylvania. The report starts by describing how stormwater and impervious areas (like rooftops, pavements, and sidewalks) contribute to degraded water quality and how green infrastructure can be used to reduce stormwater overflow flooding by restoring, reintegrating, and replicating natural landscapes.

Author or Affiliated User: Liz Garland

Resource Category: Funding

 

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AgroClimate (SECC)

AgroClimate is an interactive website developed by the Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC) for use by farmers, ranchers, foresters, water resource managers, and those who advise them. The site uses crop simulation models and historic and forecast climate data to allow decision makers to compare changes in probable outcomes under different climate conditions.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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St. George, Utah Erosion Hazard Zones and Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

1999

St. George, Utah established Erosion Hazard Zones (EHZ) adjacent to its rivers based on a 100-year planning period. The City incorporated the EHZ into their Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance in 1999. The ordinance does not prohibit development, but allows for better consideration of, and mitigation of, flooding and erosion risks.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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