Documents/NOAA2010/1: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation

1: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation

An informed society anticipating and responding to climate and its impacts

Other Information:

Projected future climate-related changes include increased global temperatures, melting sea ice and glaciers, rising sea levels, increased frequency of extreme precipitation events, acidification of the oceans, modifications of growing seasons, changes in storm frequency and intensity, air quality, alterations in species' ranges and migration patterns, earlier snowmelt, increased drought, and altered river flow volumes. Impacts from these changes are regionally diverse, and affect numerous sectors related to water, energy, transportation, forestry, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, and human health. A changing climate will alter the distribution of water resources and exacerbate human impacts on fisheries and marine ecosystems, which will result in such problems as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, changes in species distributions, and excess nutrients in coastal waters. Increased sea levels are expected to amplify the effects of other coastal hazards as ecosystem changes increase invasions of non-native species and decrease biodiversity. The direct impact of climate change on commerce, transportation, and the economy is evidenced by retreating sea ice in the Arctic, which allows the northward expansion of commercial fisheries and provides increased access for oil and gas development, commerce, and tourism. These changes already have profound implications for society, underscoring the need for scientific information to aid decision makers develop and evaluate options that mitigate the human causes of climate change and adapt to foreseeable climate impacts. While the Nation has made significant progress in understanding climate change and variability, more work is needed to identify causes and effects of these changes, produce accurate predictions, identify risks and vulnerabilities, and inform decision making. No single organization can accomplish these tasks alone. NOAA will advance this long-term goal of climate adaptation and mitigation as it builds upon a strong scientific foundation and decades of engagement with interagency, academic, and private sector partners to strengthen scientific understanding of climate; monitor changes in the atmosphere, oceans, and land; produce climate assessments; develop and deliver climate services at global and regional scales; and increase public knowledge of climate change and its impacts. Through its stewardship responsibilities and expertise, NOAA will improve its capacity to monitor, understand, and predict the impacts of a changing climate on weather patterns, water resources, and ocean and coastal ecosystems.


  • NOAA PartnersNOAA Partnerships for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation—NOAA fulfills a key role in an international global climate enterprise that already has made significant progress in understanding climate variability and change. NOAA is a national leader on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and, at the Federal level works with the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Recipients of NOAA's climate science and services include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Agencies within the U.S. Departments of Energy, State, Agriculture (USDA), Transportation (DOT), Interior (DOI), Health and Human Services, Homeland Security (DHS), and Defense (DOD). NOAA also partners with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop satellite technology that detects climate trends. Sustained partnerships among Federal Agencies, international, State, local and tribal governments, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector are required to observe and monitor the climate system; improve scientific understanding; produce more useful climate predictions; identify climate risks and vulnerabilities; deliver climate-relevant information for decision making; and better inform society about climate variability, change, and their impacts. Through its stewardship responsibilities and expertise, NOAA will focus its collaboration activities on the impacts of a changing climate on the Nation's ocean and coastal ecosystems, which include living marine resources, salt and freshwater resources, as well as coastal communities.

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • U.S. Department of Energy

  • U.S. Department of State

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

  • U.S. Department of Interior (DOI)

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • Federal Agencies

  • International Governments

  • State Governments

  • Local Governments

  • Tribal Governments

  • Academia

  • Nongovernmental Organizations

  • The Private Sector