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Adapting to Climate Change - A Call for Federal Leadership

March 2010

This report discusses the federal government’s importance in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change on the U. S. economy and domestic natural resources. This report presents analysis and recommendations for creating a National Adaptation Program in the U. S. federal government, including a suggested organizational structure and key federal roles. The recommended program has three major components: an Adaptation Strategic Planning Initiative, a National Climate Service, and an Adaptation Research Program.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joel B. Smith, Jason M. Vogel, Terri L. Cruce, Stephen Seidel, Heather A. Holsinger

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Adaptation to Climate Change in Public Lands Management

February 2010

This issue brief recommends a number of short- and long-term changes in federal land management policy to adapt to climate change.  Policy recommendations include the use of vulnerability assessments and strategic planning, development of effective monitoring systems, implementation of adaptive management and ecosystems management, coordinated research programs, and use of public lands planning and management processes to test adaptation strategies and tactics.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joel B. Smith, William R. Travis

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Options for Improving Climate Modeling to Assist Water Utility Planning for Climate Change

December 2009

This report, which was commissioned by the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), considers how federal investments in the science of climate change, and in particular climate modeling, can best be directed to help improve the quality of  research so that it may be more useful to water utilities and other possible users in adapting to climate change.   It explains how climate models work, describes how some WUCA members have used climate models and downscaling to assess impacts on their systems and develop adaptation options, and makes seven initial recommendations for how climate modeling and downscaling techniques can be improved so that these tools and techniques can be more useful for the water sector.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joseph Barsugli, Chris Anderson, Joel B. Smith, Jason M. Vogel

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: A Review of Water Utility Practices

August 2010

The study describes the activities of eight water utilities who have conducted climate vulnerability assessments: East Bay Municipal Utility District (CA), City of Boulder Utilities Division (CO), Denver Water (CO), Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Portland Water Bureau (OR), Lower Colorado River Authority (CO), and Seattle Public Utilities (WA). This report provides a review of best practices in this emerging effort across the industry for the purpose of informing utilities considering engaging in this issue about the various methods used by their peers.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joel B. Smith, Jason M. Vogel

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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The Cathedral Engulfed: Sea-level Rise, Property Rights, and Time

2012

Sea-level rise will require many new initiatives in land use regulation to adapt to unprecedented climate conditions. Such government actions will prompt regulatory and other takings claims, and also will be shaped by apprehension of such claims.

Author or Affiliated User: J. Peter Byrne

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Implications of Climate Change for Urban Water Utilities

December 2007

This paper explains in high-level terms climate change processes and effects to urban water utilities, and considers the issues involved in developing suitable water sector responses. Two adaptation strategies to reduce or avoid impacts of climate change are discussed -  vulnerability analysis and integrated response planning. Mitigation strategies that utilities could adopt to reduce their operation's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions are mentioned. .

Authors or Affiliated Users: John E. Cromwell, Joel B. Smith, Robert S. Raucher

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Twin Cities, Minnesota Metropolitan Council Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool

September 2018

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Council Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) tool can assist the Metropolitan Council and community planning efforts in preparing for and adapting to climate change in the Twin Cities, Minnesota region. The assessment focuses primarily on the impacts of extreme heat and flooding events. The CVA and tools include the assessment report, data sets, interactive mapping tools, and story maps. The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization for the seven-county Twin Cities, Minnesota region - and the CVA supports the Council in maintaining infrastructure and prioritizing future climate adaptive improvements.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Adaptation Case Studies in the Western United States

October 31, 2011

From the Georgetown Climate Center, this report contains two case studies from the Western United States that explore water shortages in the West, water rights along the Colorado River, and the protection of an endangered ground-dwelling bird: the greater sage grouse.  In doing so, the report also examines the role of states in adaptation planning and the intersection between state and federal authority.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joel B. Smith, Jason Vogel, Karen Carney, Colleen Donovan

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Center for Climate Strategies Adaptation Guidebook

September 13, 2011

The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) "Comprehensive Climate Action: An Adaptation Guidebook," provides a complete stepwise, fact based, sector-specific methodology on climate adaptation action planning and policy development. The Guidebook details a methodology for developing and implementing a climate adaptation strategy at the multi-state, state/province, regional, or local levels, and provides several resources, tools, and example frameworks. According to CCS, the process can be used by a diverse group of stakeholders and technical experts, working with agency officials and the public, to build consensus on adaptation plans and programs that are fully implementable in less than a year.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Thomas D. Peterson, Michelle Wyman, Gloria Flora, William Dougherty, Joel B. Smith, Stephen Saunders, Steve Chester, Tom Looby

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report (NCHRP Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2)

August 2014

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report provides guidance on adaptation strategies to the likely impacts of climate change through 2050 in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the United States (and through 2100 for sea-level rise).

Authors or Affiliated Users: Chris Dorney, Michael Flood, Robert Hyman, Jake Keller, Ken Leonard, Justin Lennon, Gary McVoy, Michael Meyer, Joel B. Smith

Resource Category: Planning

 

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