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Focus on Impacts of Climate Change in Washington State

February 2009

The Climate Impacts Group (CIG) at the University of Washington and the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) (formerly at the University of Oregon) developed this focus sheet which summarizes two separate studies released in February 2009, detailing the projected impacts of climate change on Washington's environment and economy. Both reports demonstrate that without additional action to reduce carbon emissions, the severity and duration of the impacts due to climate change will be profound and will negatively affect nearly every part of Washington's economy.

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Birds and Climate Change: Ecological Disruption in Motion

February 2009

Also titled "A Briefing for Policymakers and Concerned Citizens on Audubon's Analyses of North American Bird Movements in the Face of Global Warming," this report synthesizes projected and observed climate change impacts to coastal, water, and land birds in the continental U. S. It provides an analysis of four decades of Christmas Bird Count data in a non-scientific format, current and projected trends within avian communities, as well as high-level policy recommendations and suggestions for species and habitat adaptation plans.

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Water Scarcity and Climate Change: Growing Risks for Businesses and Investors

February 2009

In a world where industries are dependent on water, where water sustains our global economy, and climate change is likely to exacerbate already diminishing water supplies, few business have contemplated the risks of a diminishing water supply. This report covers global water trends and climate change, analyzes water-related business risks, and evaluates industry sector risks. Water-related risks discussed are specific to eight water-intensive industry sectors: high-tech, beverage, agriculture, electric power/energy, apparel,  biotechnology/pharmaceutical, forest products, and metals/mining.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jason Morrison, Mari Morikawa, Mohd Khawlie, Michael Murphy, Peter Schulte

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Climate Change Impacts on Water Management in the Puget Sound Region, Washington, USA

2009

This report presents historical observations and reliability analyses for planning by water utilities in the Puget Sound basin cities of Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma. By comparing changes in streamflow and snowpack and forecasting hydrological changes, this paper reviews the potential of the region's water supply systems to meet future demands. Each of the three water supply systems were analyzed, and water management models for each city are described. The models are then used to explore - without adaptations - the climate resiliency of the three systems over the next century, and the projected changes in water demand.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Julie A. Vano, Nathalie Voisin, Lan Cuo, Alan F. Hamlet, Marketa McGuire Elsner, Richard N. Palmer, Austin Polebitski, Dennis P. Lettenmaier

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New York City’s MTA Adaptations to Climate Change – A Categorical Imperative

October 2008

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) commissioned this report, “MTA Adaptations to Climate Change: A Categorical Imperative,” to provide a risk-based framework for adapting MTA facilities to climate change impacts.   The assessment covers the entire MTA region, which includes New York City, 12 counties in southeastern New York, and two counties in southwestern Connecticut. Specifically, the report identifies steps for completing a vulnerability assessment; develops climate change scenarios for the region; conducts an initial survey of key vulnerabilities of MTA assets and operations by agency and type of hazard; and offers recommendations for ways that the MTA can assess critical infrastructure, plan for, and implement climate change adaptation projects.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Klaus Jacob, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Radley Horton, David Major, Vivien Gornitz

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Climate Change and Chicago: Projections and Potential Impacts

September 2008

This report outlines the accelerating changes in climate that may occur over the coming century, and assesses the projected climate impacts on Chicago's public health system, water resources, natural ecosystems, infrastructure and more. The results of this analysis demonstrate the significance of emissions choices, and how these choices will determine the magnitude of the climate change impacts on Chicago.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Katharine Hayhoe, Donald Wuebbles

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Hazard Awareness and Risk Mitigation in Integrated Coastal Area Management

2009

This report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) provides broad guidelines for coastal planners related to the risks presented by tsunamis, storm surge, extreme wind-forced waves, coastal erosion, and the effects rising sea levels. These guidelines are intended to assist federal and local policy makers and coastal managers and planners in the reduction of the risks to coastal communities, their infrastructure, and service-providing ecosystems from coastal hazards being exacerbated by climate change.

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An Analysis of Climate Change Impacts and Options Relevant to Legal and Policy Issues at the Department of the Interior (DOI)

2008

In March 2007, former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne established the Department of the Interior's Climate Change Task Force. Three subcommittees were formed to undertake this assignment. This Draft report was issued by the Law & Policy Subcommittee to identify the legal and policy issues facing the DOI and to suggest possible options for addressing them.

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Economic and Environmental Costs of Climate Change: State Case Studies

This site provides PDF files of individual state case studies pertaining to the economic and environmental costs of climate change.   The studies were prepared by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) at the University of Maryland. The reports summarize climatic changes affecting 12 states, their potential fiscal impact, and the effect that future changes in climate may have on state economies. The research highlights the importance of planning for the possible effects of climate change on state natural and economic resources and explores options for reducing these effects.

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California Climate Risk and Response

November 2008

This report provides a comprehensive examination of the economic impacts of climate change and adaptation in California. This multi-sector study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley compiles the most recent available science on climate change impacts in the state, assesses the economic implications, and examines strategies for adaptation. 

Authors or Affiliated Users: Michael McCormick, Fredrich Kahrl, David Roland-Holst

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