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Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies

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T HE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special compe- tences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under contract number DG133R08CQ0062. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agency or any of its sub agencies. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14591-6 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14591-0 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14592-3 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14592-9 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number: 2010940139 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Cover images: Far left: courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team Middle left: courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Middle right: courtesy of Fotosearch Stock Photography Far right: courtesy of University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Photo by Carlye Calvin Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to se- cure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and educa- tion. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of fur- thering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing ser- vices to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.or g

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PANEL ON ADAPTINg TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANgE KATHARINE L. JACObS* (Chair—through January 3, 2010), University of Arizona, Tucson THOMAS J. WILbANKS (Chair), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee bRuCE P. bAugHMAN, IEM, Inc., Alabaster, Alabama ROgER N. bEACHy,* Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri gEORgES C. bENJAMIN, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C. JAMES L. buIzER, Arizona State University, Tempe F. STuART CHAPIN III, University of Alaska, Fairbanks W. PETER CHERRy, Science Applications International Corporation, Ann Arbor, Michigan bRAxTON DAvIS, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Charleston KRISTIE L. EbI, IPCC Technical Support Unit WGII, Stanford, California JEREMy HARRIS, Sustainable Cities Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii RObERT W. KATES, Independent Scholar, Bangor, Maine HOWARD C. KuNREuTHER, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia LINDA O. MEARNS, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado PHILIP MOTE, Oregon State University, Corvallis ANDREW A. ROSENbERg, Conservation International, Arlington, Virginia HENRy g. SCHWARTz, JR., Jacobs Civil (retired), St. Louis, Missouri JOEL b. SMITH, Stratus Consulting, Inc., Boulder, Colorado gARy W. yOHE, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut NRC Staff CLAuDIA MENgELT, Study Director MICHAEL CRAgHAN, Program Officer KARA LANEy, Associate Program Officer JOSEPH CASOLA, Postdoctoral Fellow LAuREN M. bROWN, Research Associate AMANDA PuRCELL, Senior Program Assistant * Asterisks denote members who resigned during the study process. 

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Foreword: About America’s Climate Choices C onvened by the National Research Council in response to a request from Congress (P.L. 110-161), America’s Climate Choices is a suite of five coordinated activities designed to study the serious and sweeping issues associated with global climate change, including the science and technology challenges involved, and to provide advice on the most effective steps and most promising strategies that can be taken to respond. The Committee on America’s Climate Choices is responsible for providing overall direction, coordination, and integration of the America’s Climate Choices suite of activi- ties and ensuring that these activities provide well-supported, action-oriented, and useful advice to the nation. The committee convened a Summit on America’s Climate Choices on March 30–31, 2009, to help frame the study, and provide an opportunity for high-level participation and input on key issues. The committee is also charged with writing a final report that builds on four panel reports and other sources to answer the following four overarching questions: • What short-term actions can be taken to respond effectively to climate change? • What promising long-term strategies, investments, and opportunities could be pursued to respond to climate change? • What are the major scientific and technological advances needed to better understand and respond to climate change? • What are the major impediments (e.g., practical, institutional, economic, ethi- cal, intergenerational, etc.) to responding effectively to climate change, and what can be done to overcome these impediments? The Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change was charged to describe, analyze, and assess strategies for reducing the net future human influence on climate. The panel’s report focuses on actions to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and other human drivers of climate change, such as changes in land use, but also considers the international dimensions of climate stabilization. The Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change was charged to describe, analyze, and assess actions and strategies to reduce vulnerability, increase adaptive ii

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FOREWORD capacity, improve resiliency, and promote successful adaptation to climate change in different regions, sectors, systems, and populations. This report draws on a wide range of sources and case studies to identify lessons learned from past experiences, promis- ing current approaches, and potential new directions. The Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change was charged to provide a concise overview of past, present, and future climate change, including its causes and its impacts, and to recommend steps to advance our current understanding, including new observations, research programs, next-generation models, and the physical and human assets needed to support these and other activities. The panel’s report focuses on the scientific advances needed both to improve our understanding of the intergrated human-climate system and to devise more effective responses to climate change. The Panel on Informing Effective Decisions and Actions Related to Climate Change was charged to describe and assess different activities, products, strategies, and tools for informing decision makers about climate change and helping them plan and ex- ecute effective, integrated responses. The panel’s report describes the different types of climate change-related decisions and actions being taken at various levels and in different sectors and regions; it develops a framework, tools, and practical advice for ensuring that the best available technical knowledge about climate change is used to inform these decisions and actions. America’s Climate Choices builds on an extensive foundation of previous and ongoing work, including National Research Council reports, assessments from other national and international organizations, the current scientific literature, climate action plans by various entities, and other sources. More than a dozen boards and standing com- mittees of the National Research Council were involved in developing the study, and many additional groups and individuals provided additional input during the study process. Outside viewpoints were also obtained via public events and workshops (including the Summit), invited presentations at committee and panel meetings, and comments and questions received through the study website, http://americasclimate­ choices.org. Collectively, the America’s Climate Choices suite of activities involves more than 90 volunteers from a range of communities including academia, various levels of govern- ment, business and industry, other nongovernmental organizations, and the interna- tional community. Responsibility for the final content of each report rests solely with the authoring panel and the National Research Council. However, the development of each report included input from and interactions with members of all five study groups; the membership of each group is listed in Appendix A. iii

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Preface T his report presents the findings of the Committee on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change, one of four concurrent panel efforts within the America’s Climate Choices committee study. It was our assignment to identify the opportu- nities and challenges associated with adaptation, to identify and evaluate the avail- able options and lessons learned within the United States and elsewhere, and to make recommendations regarding U.S. adaptation efforts. Adapting to climate change is a relatively new topic for U.S. citizens, who have only recently become fully aware of the implications of changes in the Earth system that will result from having more heat trapped in the oceans and the atmosphere. In recent years, some states, cities, and sectors have begun to make plans to adapt to current and anticipated changes in the climate system. Some “early adopters” have focused primarily on limiting greenhouse gases (GHGs). Others, however, are also addressing ways to limit impacts of the anticipated changes, recognizing that regardless of efforts to limit emissions, adaptation is required now and will become even more important in the coming decades. Although planning for adaptation is still in its infancy, there is a groundswell of interest in moving forward quickly to avoid future impacts of climate change. Advising the nation on how to prepare for the impacts of climate change is especially daunting in a country with so much geographic and economic diversity and so many private- and public-sector decision makers. The challenges associated with multiple regions, sectors, scales, and time frames have made this a difficult assignment, and in the end, our panel has concluded that is not possible to provide a list of actions to be taken now to adapt in each region and sector. As has been noted by many researchers and practitioners, adaptation is fundamentally implemented at local and regional lev- els and needs to consider the socioeconomic and political factors. Priorities regarding “what to do” need to be set in decision contexts relative to other important priorities faced by society and resource managers. Vulnerability associated with climate change is based on underlying social and ecological stresses, and these stresses tend to vary dramatically from place to place. Degrees of vulnerability are not directly connected to wealth, but certainly a lack of financial capacity is highly correlated with a reduced number of options for adaptation. In this report, our panel emphasizes that adaptation decisions need to be made in the context of promoting long-term sustainability ob- ix

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P R E FA C E jectives, including social, economic, and ecological welfare rather than focusing only on the short-term outcomes that may be more politically and economically expedient. Despite this place-based framework, our panel shares the perspective that adaptation needs to be addressed in a coordinated way and that there is a need to involve the federal government in this coordination. Furthermore, there is a need to acknowledge the implications of our adaptation and GHG-reduction decisions on national security and to be prepared for the potential impacts of decisions taken by other countries. This assignment has been both challenging and exhilarating for other reasons as well. Although dozens of new publications on adaptation have emerged during the year that we have worked on this effort, on balance there is very little published literature about the effectiveness of alternative approaches to adaptation to impacts of climate change, and in particular very few estimates of cost that are useful in the context of the wide variety of U.S. decision processes. The exhilarating part of this effort has been the opportunity to meld a variety of kinds of knowledge into a truly integrated docu- ment that benefits from a balance between social and physical science and practical experience. We were aided in our efforts by the support of truly exceptional National Research Council staff. Our project director, Claudia Mengelt, did a heroic job at maintaining for- ward momentum and managing this intensive effort. She was unceasingly energetic, professional, and optimistic, in spite of relatively severe time limitations and a large committee of talented but very independent-minded members. Claudia was ably as- sisted in her work by Amanda Purcell, who impeccably handled the logistics; Michael Craghan, who developed the matrix format and did much of the citation develop- ment; and Kara Laney, who assisted with our research in multiple ways. We also want to acknowledge the highly professional stewardship provided by the study director, Ian Kraucunas, and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) board di- rector, Chris Elfring, who engaged often with our committee to provide sound advice, particularly about coordination with the other committee and panel findings. We depended heavily on the U.S. Global Change Research Program report The Impacts of Climate Change on the United States, and are grateful to those who helped to produce it and shared their findings with us firsthand. The Impacts report informed our conclu- sions about what climate impacts we need to be prepared for. Many international and national climate and adaptation experts shared their expertise with us in person, by phone, and through documents they provided. Their input was invaluable and used liberally in the case studies and findings of this report. Our committee is grateful for the opportunity to work together at this important mo- ment in history, when climate change science and policy are intersecting for the first x

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Preface time as part of a major national agenda. We are humbled by the size of this task and the magnitude of the known and unknown challenges that lie ahead, especially on the ambitious time schedule for the America’s Climate Choices reports. Katharine Jacobs, Chair through January 3, 2010, and Tom Wilbanks, Chair Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change xi

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Acknowledgments T his report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institu- tional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participa- tion in the review of this report: NEIL ADgER, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Norwich, U.K. DONALD F. bOESCH, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge IAN buRTON, Meteorological Service of Canada, Ontario JONATHAN CANNON, University of Virginia, Charlottesville MARgARET DAvIDSON, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Charleston, South Carolina ALExANDER H. FLAx, Consultant, Potomac, Maryland AMy FRAENKEL, UNEP Regional Office for North America, Washington, D.C. gERALD E. gALLOWAy, University of Maryland, College Park JAMES E. gERINgER, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Cheyenne, Wyoming gEORgE M. HORNbERgER, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee PETER KAREIvA, The Nature Conservancy, Seattle, Washington JIM LOPEz, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C. RICHARD H. MOSS, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington, D.C. DAvID J. NASH, Dave Nash & Associates, LLC, Birmingham, Alabama CHARLES PHELPS, University of Rochester, Gualala, California KEITH PITTS, Marrone Organic Innovations, Davis, California PEggy M. SHEPARD, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, New York, New York b. L. TuRNER II, Arizona State University, Tempe Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert A. Frosch (Harvard University) and Susan Hanson (Clark Uni- xiii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS versity) appointed by the Report Review Committee and the Division on Earth and Life Studies, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The panel would like to thank in particular the following for sharing their insights on this topic as presenters and informal reviewers and for writing contributions: Thomas Armstrong, Peter Schultz, Joel Scheraga, Susan Solomon, Jerry Melillo, Brad Udall, Dixon Butler, Jean Fruci, Kris Sarri, Susanne Moser, Amanda Staudt, Saleemul Huq, Mark Howden, Chris West, Virginia Burkett, Michael Savonis, Matthias Ruth, Adam Freed, Tony Brunello, Mark Way, Andrew Castaldi, Hal Mooney, Lisa Graumlich, Peter Culp, Jennifer Pitt, Nancy Grimm, Mikaela Engert, Mitzi Stults, Jim Jones, and John Reilly. xi

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Acknowledgments Institutional oversight for this project was provided by: bOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ANTONIO J. buSALACCHI, JR. (Chair), University of Maryland, College Park ROSINA M. bIERbAuM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor RICHARD CARbONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado WALTER F. DAbbERDT, Vaisala, Inc., Boulder, Colorado KIRSTIN DOW, University of South Carolina, Columbia gREg S. FORbES, The Weather Channel, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia ISAAC HELD, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, New Jersey ARTHuR LEE, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California RAyMOND T. PIERREHuMbERT, University of Chicago, Illinois KIMbERLy PRATHER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California KIRK R. SMITH, University of California, Berkeley JOHN T. SNOW, University of Oklahoma, Norman THOMAS H. vONDER HAAR, Colorado State University/CIRA, Fort Collins xubIN zENg, University of Arizona, Tucson Ex Officio Members gERALD A. MEEHL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado x

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRINg, Director LAuRIE gELLER, Senior Program Officer IAN KRAuCuNAS, Senior Program Officer EDWARD DuNLEA, Senior Program Officer MARTHA MCCONNELL, Program Officer TOby WARDEN, Program Officer MAggIE WALSER, Associate Program Officer KATIE WELLER, Associate Program Officer JOSEPH CASOLA, Postdoctoral Fellow RITA gASKINS, Administrative Coordinator LAuREN M. bROWN, Research Associate ROb gREENWAy, Program Associate SHELLy FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant AMANDA PuRCELL, Senior Program Assistant RICARDO PAyNE, Senior Program Assistant JANEISE STuRDIvANT, Program Assistant SHubHA bANSKOTA, Financial Associate xi

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 17 Adaptation: Key Questions, Challenges, and Opportunities, 17 Scope and Purpose of the Report, 22 Principles to Guide Climate Change Adaptation, 23 Organization of the Report, 24 2 VULNERABILITIES AND IMPACTS 29 Projected U.S. Climate Changes That Could Require Adaptive Responses, 30 Determining Vulnerabilities to Projected Climate Changes, 35 How Changing Climate Conditions and Vulnerabilities Impact Different U.S. Sectors , 39 Comparative Metrics of Impacts and Vulnerabilities, 50 Major Scientific Challenges in Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerabilities and Their Implications for Adaptation, 54 Adaptation and Uncertainty, 58 Conclusions, 59 3 WHAT ARE AMERICA’S OPTIONS FOR ADAPTATION? 61 Sectoral Adaptations to Climate Change, 65 Lessons from Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Programs, 76 Conclusions, 87 4 MANAGING THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE: A STRATEGY FOR ADAPTATION 121 The Adaptation Challenge, 121 Managing the Risk, 124 Developing an Effective Adaptation Strategy, 130 Developing an Adaptation Plan, 134 Impediments to Implementing Adaptation Plans and Policies, 145 Limits to Adaptation, 152 Research and Development in Support of Adaptation, 153 Conclusions, 156 xii

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CONTENTS 5 LINKING ADAPTATION EFFORTS ACROSS THE NATION 159 Adaptive Capacity, 160 Roles of Governmental and Other Institutions, 162 The Need for a Coordinated National Approach to Climate Change Adaptation, 179 Conclusions, 181 6 RATIONALE AND MECHANISMS FOR GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT IN CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION 185 Climate Change Impacts in an International Context, 186 Rationale for U.S. Engagement in Adapting to Climate Change at the Global Scale, 188 Opportunities for U.S. Engagement in Global Adaptation Activities, 193 Conclusions, 199 7 MAJOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES NEEDED TO PROMOTE EFFECTIVE ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE 203 Science and Technology Advances to Support Adaptation Analysis and Assessment, 204 Science and Technology Advances for Adaptation Option Identification and Development, 206 Science and Technology Advances for Adaptation Management and Implementation, 211 Alternative Approaches for Meeting Science and Technology Needs for Climate Change Adaptation, 214 Conclusions, 216 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 219 Overcoming Adaptation Challenges and Impediments Requires a Comprehensive Strategy, 221 A National Program Should Be Developed to Implement the National Adaptation Strategy, 225 Adaptation Should Be Supported Across the Nation by the Development of New Adaptation Science and Technology, 228 Governments at All Levels, the Private Sector, and Nongovernmental Organizations Should Initiate Adaptation Planning and Implementation, 229 The United States Should Promote Adaptation in an International Context, 230 Early Opportunities for Success, 231 xiii

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Contents References 253 Appendixes A America’s Climate Choices: Membership Lists 251 B Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change: Statement of Task 255 C Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change: Biographical Sketches 257 D Explanation of the Rationale for Reasons of Concern 267 E Acronyms and Initialisms 271 xix

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