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Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X)

Library for Climate Change Adaptation

There are many resources available that describe the implications of climate change. This resource center focuses on helping communities adapt to changes primarily reported in the U.S. National Climate Assessment (2014). In particular, the site focuses on climate impacts most relevant to the EPA's statutory responsibilities and mission to protect human health and the environment.

For those interested in exploring climate change or climate change adaptation in more detail, we provide several additional resources, by area of interest, below. Further links can be found in the Underlying Science section of the ARC-X and on EPA's Climate Change portal.

On this page:

Air Quality

Climate change may complicate community efforts to maintain their outdoor air quality standards. Those working to attain air quality standards may find reaching those goals more difficult. Indoor air quality is threatened by more frequent and intense storms, as a result of climate change, and is expected to increase more damp conditions that are ideal for the growth of indoor fungi and mold.

Overview: Air Quality

Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality

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Water Management

Climate change impacts are likely to affect the programs designed to protect water quality, public health, and safety. Climate risks from more frequent and intense storms, sea-level rise and warmer temperatures can all pose challenges to water utility operations, water quality maintenance and ecosystem protection.

Overview: Water

  • Addressing Climate Change in the Water Sector - Learn about the steps EPA is taking to address the impacts of climate change in the water sector.
  • EPA's Office Water Adaptation Implementation Plan
  • EPA National Water Program Climate Adaptation Tools Handout - This double-sided resource created by the Office of Water is for you to share with partners (e.g., conferences, meetings, outreach) or use as your own reference! The document summarizes 15 tools developed by the EPA National Water Program for state, tribal and local governments and others to adapt their clean water and drinking water programs to a changing climate. The document is organized around: Climate Ready Estuaries; Creating Resilient Water Utilities; Emergency/Incident Planning, Response, and Recovery; and Water Quality.

Water Management

Climate impacts on Water Resources Website

  • Stormwater Calculator Technical Fact Sheet (PDF) (1 pg, 396 K)
    A factsheet on how to use the Stormwater Calculator tool to include future climate vulnerability scenarios when estimating the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site.
  • Green Infrastructure for Climate Resiliency Brochure
    Information on how green infrastructure practices can help communities prepare for and manage the effects of climate change. This brochure focuses on several topics, among them increasing water management efficiency, managing stormwater, preparing for drought, and protecting coastal areas.
  • State Water Agency Practices for Climate Adaptation
    Descriptions of innovative practices that state water agencies are currently implementing to reduce their vulnerability to climate-related impacts and to build resilience to climate change. These select state practices can serve as useful models for other state agencies seeking to make water programs more resilient to climate change.

Water Utility Operations

Creating Resilient Water Utilities Website

Ecosystem Protection

Climate Ready Estuaries website

  • Climate Ready Estuaries: Synthesis of Adaptation Options for Coastal Areas
    This guide provides a brief introduction to key physical impacts of climate change on estuaries and a review of on-the-ground adaptation options available to coastal managers to reduce their systems' vulnerability to climate change impacts.
  • Being Prepared for Climate Change: A Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans
    This workbook presents a guide to climate change adaptation planning based on EPA's experience with watershed management, the National Estuary Program and the Climate Ready Estuaries program. The Workbook will assist organizations that manage environmental resources to prepare a broad, risk-based adaptation plan.
  • Rolling Easements Primer
    This document provides a primer on more than a dozen land use and legal tools for ensuring that intertidal habitats (wetlands, mudflats, and beaches). Rolling easements help ensure that these habitats can persist even as sea level rises.
  • Collaborative Guide: A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching
    The Collaborative Guide: A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching provides coral reef managers with the latest scientific information on the causes of coral bleaching and new management strategies for responding to this significant threat to coral reef ecosystems.

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Waste Management & Emergency Response

Communities' efforts to ensure the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes can be complicated by climate change. Contaminated site management will become more difficult due to the increased incidence of flooding and other climate impacts that threaten the effectiveness of cleanup efforts. The safe and timely management of disaster debris can be impacted by more frequent and more powerful natural disasters, requiring more resources and greater coordination and planning efforts.

Overview: Waste Management & Emergency Response

Contaminated Site Management

Disaster Debris Management

  • Waste Management Planning to Mitigate the Impact of Climate Change – Climate change is expected to produce more frequent and powerful natural disasters, which will increase the amount of disaster-related waste generated. Communities can adapt to these disasters and increase their resiliency by preparing for these disasters through pre-incident planning.

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Public Health

Climate change impacts, such as higher average temperatures and increased storm frequency and intensity, can intensify public health stressors including decreased air and water quality, accidental exposure to chemicals, and extreme heat.

Overview: Public Health



Chemical Exposure & Waste Management

Extreme Heat

  • The National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS)

    This interagency website is a 'one stop shop' for information on extreme heat. The site integrates heat-health information, case studies, and tools from across the Federal Government to support on-the-ground efforts to reduce heat-related impacts on human health.

  • Climate and Health Assessment – Temperature-Related Death and Illness –

    Learn how climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people. This scientific assessment examines how climate change is already affecting human health and the changes that may occur in the future.

  • EPA's Heat Island Effect –

    Learn about how climate change and heat islands interact, how EPA is helping communities reduce heat islands, and the strategies to reduce the heat island effect: trees and vegetation, green roofs, cools roofs, cool pavements, and smart growth.

  • Climate Change and Extreme Heat: What You Can Do to Prepare –

    This booklet answers some of the key questions about extreme heat in a changing climate (e.g., Why extreme heat is on the rise? How might extreme heat affect you? What you can do before and during an extreme heat event to reduce your health risk?).

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Adaptation Planning

Many states, cities, businesses, and federal government agencies have realized the importance of reducing the harm climate change can cause and have begun developing their own adaptation plans and adopting policies that strengthen resiliency.

Overview: Adaptation Planning



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