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Adapting to Climate Change: Strategies from King County, Washington

April 2009

King County in Washington State has established a comprehensive program to prepare for climate change, and many of the tools and strategies that King County has employed can be applied in other communities. This Memo from the King County Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Management, published by the American Planning Association, describes strategies developed in King County to direct local government efforts to address climate change.

Author or Affiliated User: Karen Wolf

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maine's Climate Future: An Initial Assessment

April 2009

In late 2007, then Governor Baldacci asked the University of Maine and its Climate Change Institute to lead a preliminary analysis of the effects of climate change in Maine during the 21st century. This report from the analysis considers past climate change, recent evidence of accelerated rates of change, and the implications of continued climate change in Maine as a result of greenhouse gas emissions and their associated pollutants. The assessment highlights some of the critical climate impacts on various ecosystems and economic sectors in Maine, with the intention to help frame the policy and management discussions on adaptation that are needed, while emphasizing new opportunities that exist for the state.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Environmental Impact Report in San Francisco Bay Area Transportation 2035 Plan: Change in Motion

April 2009

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) completed an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) In order to assess the impacts of proposed transportation investments in the San Francisco Bay Area. The EIR includes a qualitative assessment of potential climate change impacts on the region’s transportation system, with a focus on sea-level rise impacts. It also suggests measures to protect transportation assets from the impacts of climate change. The EIR, finalized in 2009, was part of the development of the MTC’s long-range transportation plan, “Transportation 2035 Plan: Change in Motion.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Preparing for Climate Change: A Perspective from Local Public Health Officers in California

April 2009

This report presents the results of a survey of California's local public health officers, conducted between August and October 2007. The survey assessed health officers' concerns about the public health impacts of climate change, their familiarity with programs currently in place that could help to mitigate these health effects, and their information and resource needs to better cope with a changing climate. .

Author or Affiliated User: Louise Bedsworth

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Sustainable Water Systems: Step One-Redefining the Nation's Infrastructure Challenge

2009

This study examines the challenges that the drinking water and wastewater systems of the U.S. face in maintaining and replacing their pipes, treatment plants, and other critical infrastructure. The report offers policy recommendations, key principles of sustainable water infrastructure, and guiding elements of water management in light of climate change. This resource is applicable to water management at all levels.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Rising Waters: Helping Hudson River Communities Adapt to Climate Change Scenario Planning 2010-2030, Final Report

2009

The Rising Waters project aims to strengthen the preparedness and adaptive capacity of the Hudson River Estuary Watershed to meet the impacts of future climate change. To help local communities of the Hudson Valley to prepare for climate impacts, the Rising Waters project used scenario planning methodologies to educate participants on important aspects of complicated problems and build a shared conceptual framework for dialogue leading to potential solutions. The report overviews the key climate risks for the region, and describes the multi-stakeholder convening process, scenario planning, and resiliency framework development.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Elevated Ventilation Grates for New York City’s Subway System

2009

New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) installed raised ventilation grates at 25 different locations throughout the city in order to reduce flooding of their subway system. Similar strategies could be used for underground highway assets, such as tunnels, where ventilation systems are at risk of flooding.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate change exposures, chronic diseases and mental health in urban populations: a threat to health security, particularly for the poor and disadvantaged

2009

This report summarizes climate change trends, both globally and in selected urban areas. It analyzes the ways in which changes in climate variables such as air temperature, precipitation, and sea-level rise can impact or exacerbate chronic diseases and mental health issues in populations via pathways such as increases in heat exposure, extreme weather events and air pollution levels.   Chapter 7 is devoted to heat exposure, highlighting temperature trends from 1980 to 2007 in 11 global cities, including Atlanta, and relating the exposures in both low and high-income countries to work productivity to show the causal link to climate change.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Mapping Urban Risk: Flood Hazards, Race, and Environmental Justice in New York

January 1, 2009

This paper applies a more nuanced method for mapping population data to estimate the number of people potentially impacted by flood hazards in New York City.  The authors find that the number of people living in the floodplain in New York City is undercounted by traditional mapping methods by 37-72% compared to their method, and that this undercounting was not evenly spread across racial and ethnic groups. The paper also provides a literature review that outlines: why and how various groups of people may be impacted differently by the same disaster event, a review of environmental justice more broadly, and an overview of flood hazards in the U.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Juliana Mantaay, Andrew Maroko

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Climate Change Impacts on Water Management and Irrigated Agriculture in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, USA

2009

Utilizing a multi-model ensemble approach of downscaled climate model projections, hydrologic modeling, and water management models, this report presents results for changes in reservoir levels and snow pack in the Yakima River basin and resulting impacts to irrigated agriculture in the basin. The paper presents the analysis of  hydrological conditions and how climate change is projected to impact water supply for water users with junior water rights and - in the extreme years - users with senior water rights throughout the basin.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Julie A. Vano, Michael Scott, Nathalie Voisin, Claudio O. Stockle, Alan F. Hamlet, Kristian E. B. Mickelson, Marketa McGuire Elsner, Dennis P. Lettenmaier

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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