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Climate Adaptation Resources and Tools

Getting Started

The National Climate Assessment is a good place to start.  Regional chapters provide broad information on climate change impacts for each US region.   The transportation chapter explains climate change impacts on transportation.

Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Framework, Third Edition (2017) - Serves as a guide for transportation agencies interested in assessing their vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events. It gives an overview of key steps in conducting vulnerability assessments and uses in-practice examples to demonstrate a variety of ways to gather and process information.   

USDOT Resources

Addressing Resilience to Climate Change & Extreme Weather in Transportation Asset Management (2023) - This handbook provides approaches, strategies, and examples of addressing risks related to extreme weather and climate change in asset management.

FHWA Resilience Pilots – examples from across the United States of State DOT and MPO analyses of climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies. 

FTA Climate Considerations website – FTA research on adapting public transportation to climate change impacts and information from FTA-funded climate adaptation pilots.  Flooded Bus Barns and Buckled Rails: Public Transportation and Climate Change Adaptation.

Airport Climate Adaptation and Resilience (2021) – report by Airport Cooperative Research Program. 

Synthesis of Approaches for Addressing Resilience in Project Development (2017) - Includes a report that synthesizes lessons learned from a variety of recent FHWA studies and pilots, and a range of engineering-informed adaptation studies.   

Highways in the Coastal Environment: Hydraulic Engineering Circular No 25, 3rd Ed. (2020) - Provides technical guidance and methods for assessing the vulnerability of roads and bridges to extreme events and climate change in coastal areas, focusing on sea level rise, storm surge, and waves.   

Hydraulic Engineering Circular 17: Highways in the River Environment - Floodplains, Extreme Events, Risk, and Resilience, 2nd Edition (2016) - Provides technical guidance and methods for assessing the vulnerability of transportation facilities to extreme events and climate change in riverine environments.  

CMIP Processing Tool Version 2.1 (2021) - Accesses and calculates climate projections for temperature and precipitation variables.   

Nature-based Resilience for Coastal Highways (2019) – Implementation Guide for transportation agencies on how to use nature-based solutions such as wetlands, dunes, and reefs to protect coastal highways from flooding and erosion. 

Pavement Resilience: State of the Practice Report (2023)

Geohazards, Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Resilience Manual (2023) 

Climate Change Adaptation for Pavements (2015) - Summarizes pavement-specific climate impacts and adaptation strategies  

FHWA Resilience Publications Website - compiles numerous Federal Highway Administration reports related to climate change adaptation and resilience.

Resources from other Federal Agencies   

US Army Corps' Sea-Level Change Curve Calculator helps the user estimate future relative sea level rise.  

US Army Corps Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program’s (SERDP) on-line Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Curve tool and US Climate Resilience Toolkit provide information on climate change and adapting to climate change impacts.  

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s National Risk Index for Natural Hazards includes information on natural hazards risks, social vulnerability and community resilience at the county and census track levels.  

NASA’s Flooding Days Projection Tool is an online dashboard that projects the number of high tide flooding days per year for 97 U.S. cities.  

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Climate Explorer and Sea Level Rise Viewer (updated with regional sea level rise scenarios published in 2022) allow users to look up historic and future projected climate variables (e.g., changes in temperature thresholds, sea level rise) for their region.  

NOAA's 2022 State Climate Summaries provide overviews of climate change information for each state.  

NOAA’s Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal provides access to information on current hazards and federal policies   

NOAA’s Natural Infrastructure Website

NOAA-funded Sea Grant Universities provide technical assistance and outreach to support coastal resilience planning in each of the 34 coastal states (including Great Lakes).  

NOAA's Climate Adaptation Partnerships, formerly called RISAs, provide technical assistance to decision makers in each of the regions.  

NOAA's Regional Climate Change Coordinators link stakeholders with targeted resources.