Climate Change Topics

November 28, 2021

Climate guide graphic


Climate Change Topics

Air   |   Land    |   Water   |   Human Health   |   Communities    |  UNDER CONSTRUCTION:   Disasters & Extreme Weather   |   Economics   |   Environmental Justice   |   Infrastructure   |   Security





Fourth National Climate Assessment: Air Quality
Chapter from the 2018 U.S. government report covering how climate change increases risks from air pollution. Addresses health impacts, ozone air quality, particulate matter, as well as climate-related issues including wildfire and airborne allergens.

Air Quality and Climate Change Research
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s repository for information on air quality and climate change, with links to related resources, tools and publications.

The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States — A Scientific Assessment: Air Quality Impacts
A 2016 report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program with key findings on exacerbated ozone health impacts, increased health impacts from wildfire, and worsened allergy and asthma conditions.

Climate and Air Quality
A Climate Central research brief on how climate change is threatening air quality across the United States, with a focus on ground-level ozone pollution. Includes a look at cities with ozone problems.

Air Pollution and Climate Change
A report from the Potsdam-based Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies on the links between greenhouse gases, climate change and air quality, including links to IASS research on air pollution and climate change. Also see an IASS policy brief on an integrated approach to climate protection and clean air.

Climate Change and Health: Air Quality
Resources from the nonprofit NRDC exploring the relationship between climate change and unhealthy air, including an interactive map and links to climate change-air pollution resources.


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Climate Change and Land
A special report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Includes summary for policymakers. Also see a land and climate change report related to the UN’s Convention to Combat Desertification that focuses on land, drought and biodiversity, and a background study on forests and climate change.

Fourth National Climate Assessment: Land, Forests, Agriculture
Chapters from the 2018 U.S. government report covering how climate change can affect and be affected by changes in land cover and land use, disturb forests and reduce agricultural productivity. The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit also has key points and a backgrounder on ecosystem impacts.

Climate Impacts on Forests, Ecosystems
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resources page with information on forest growth, productivity and disturbances, and on ecosystems and life cycles, range shifts, food web disruptions, extinction risks and more.

Climate Change and Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources and Biodiversity
A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research on the effects of climate change. Also see a synthesis report with findings on effects of climate on forest and arid lands.

Climate Change Science Explorer
A U.S. Geologic Survey portal page with links to its centers for climate adaptation and Earth resources observation, as well as research and development and land change science programs.

Climate Solutions for Agriculture
A U.S. Department of Agriculture page on how a changing climate is affecting U.S. agriculture, with info on preparing for increased weather risks through its regional climate hubs, and links to assessments projecting climate impacts and a carbon management evaluation tool. Also see the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture program on climate change.

Climate Change Resource Center
A U.S. Forest Service site linking to pages on climate change science and modeling, climate change effects on forests and grasslands, and responses to climate change, along with links to educational materials, adaptation, tools, a library, a tree carbon calculator and a tree atlas.

Climate Adaptation for Defense Department Natural Resource Managers
A Defense Department guide developed with the National Wildlife Federation to incorporating climate considerations into integrated natural resource management plans for the ​​more than 25 million acres of land owned or managed by the DoD.

Soil, Land and Climate Change
A European Environment Agency article exploring climate change’s impacts on soil, and on how it can be addressed through healthier soils and a sustainable land and soil management.


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Fourth National Climate Assessment: Water, Coastal Effects and Oceans & Marine Resources
Chapters from the 2018 U.S. government report. Material in the water chapter covers climate change impacts on water quality and quantity, as well as risks to deteriorating water infrastructure, and water management strategies. Also included are regional summaries on water from around the United States. Material on coastal effects covers how climate change increases socioeconomic and environmental impacts on coastlines, including from the threat of rising sea levels that exacerbate tidal and storm surge flooding, and the state of coastal ecosystems, as well as social vulnerability. Material on oceans and marine resources covers how climate change, including extreme events, affects ocean ecosystems and marine fisheries.

Water and Climate Change
A United Nations resource page on water availability and the impact of climate change. Also see the UNICEF report, “Water and the Global Climate Crisis: 10 Things You Should Know.”

2021 State of Climate Services: Water
A World Meteorological Organization water-focused report to support climate adaptation. Explores global water status, including stress hotspots, plus priorities and needs for regions around the world based on water requirements for agriculture and food; ecosystems, biodiversity and forestry; health; energy; infrastructure; and disaster risk reduction.

Climate Change Indicators: Oceans
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resources on the relationships between climate change and oceans, with information and links on ocean heat, sea surface temperature, sea level, land loss, coastal flooding and ocean acidity.

Fisheries and Climate
An overview from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the changing climate impacts on marine life and ecosystems, and communities and economies dependent on them. Resources include NOAA's Fisheries climate science strategy and regional action plans.

Impacts of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture
A 2018 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization on current knowledge, adaptation and mitigation options. Plus, more FAO resources on fisheries and aquaculture and climate change.

Ocean Acidification
An educational resource from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the falling pH of surface ocean waters and resulting impacts of ocean acidification on shell builders, and on fish and seaweeds, along with information on current research.

Climate Change and Coral Reefs
A detailed infographic from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on how climate change is dramatically affecting coral reef ecosystems.

Climate Change and Aquatic Ecosystems
A U.S. Geological Survey portal to agency research on climate change as a stressor for freshwater ecosystems.

Climate Change in Coastal Communities
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency page focused on sea level rise, increased temperatures, storm intensity and ocean acidification. Also see the EPA’s Coastal Adaptation Toolkit providing select resources on coastal areas and watersheds focused on impacts, adaptation options, planning frameworks and resources.

Coastal Flooding, Climate Change and Your Health
A Centers for Disease Control report for the general public on preparing for safety in case of coastal flooding.

Surging Seas
Resources on sea level rise from Climate Central, with analysis of population impacts, risk finder and map, Zillow Report and mapping choices. Also see its report, “Flooded Future.”

Flooding and Climate Change: Everything You Need to Know
A guide from NRDC to flooding and climate change, with flooding facts, causes, consequences, preparation and prevention.


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Human Health


Climate Change and Health
The World Health Organization’s resources on the topic include a 2021 special report on climate change and health that recommends for priority actions from the global health community. The United Nations agency also issued a 2021 Health and Climate Change Survey Report and a health program for the COP26 meeting. In addition, see its climate change overview page with fact sheets and resources on evidence and monitoring, country support, special initiatives and more, plus a brief report on climate change and infectious diseases.

Human Health: Impacts, Adaptation, and Co-Benefits
A chapter (pending final edits) from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report. 

The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States
A scientific assessment from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, with chapters on temperature-related death and illness, air quality impacts, extreme events, vector-borne diseases, water-related illness, food safety and nutrition, mental health and vulnerable populations. Also, see the chapter on human health in the U.S. government’s latest National Climate Assessment, plus an overview of health risks of climate change from the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit. 

Climate Effects on Health
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a resource page focused on climate-related national health topics, including air pollution, allergens and pollen, vector-borne diseases, food and waterborne diarrheal disease, food security, mental health and stress-related disorders. Resources are available on regional health effects as well. Also see the agency’s 2020 summary report, “Preparing for the Regional Health Impacts of Climate Change in the United States.”

Climate Change and Human Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has resources on climate and children’s health, research programs and more. NIEHS has more on climate, and the HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity also has a climate change and health equity and a 2021 HHS Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan.

Climate Change Indicators: Health and Society
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency page on ways that climate change is affecting human health and society, with links to indicators on heat- and cold-related illness and death, vector-borne diseases, and growing and allergy season. Also see a fact sheet on Climate Change and the Health of Indigenous Populations.

Climate Change in Europe
The European Union’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control resource page covers air-, food-, rodent-, vector- and waterborne diseases.

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change
An annual review from the medical journal to monitor the evolving health profile of climate change through a series of key indicators. Also includes a series of policy briefs, along with infographics, and video and audio content.

Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment
The Harvard School of Public Health center has guides on climate change and allergies, asthma and heat, as well as an FAQ on coronavirus and climate change.

Climate and Health ‘Postcards
Fact sheet from the Physicians for Social Responsibility on vector-borne and waterborne diseases, as well as on how climate change contaminates water.

Clean Air and Lung Health
Climate change-related resources from the nonprofit American Lung Association, including on climate change and lung health, and climate change and air pollution.

How Extreme Weather Events Affect Mental Health
An American Psychiatric Association backgrounder, with links to an APA position statement and a companion resource document. Also see this two-pager from the American Public Health Association, “Climate Changes Mental Health.”

US Climate and Health Alliance
Resources at the intersection of climate and health from this U.S. network of health and public health organizations and professionals.

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IPCC: Cities, Settlements and Key Infrastructure
Chapter from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report, with FAQs, infographics and discussions of risks, impacts and adaptation for urban centers.

Fourth National Climate Assessment: Built Environment, Urban Systems, & Cities | Agriculture & Rural Communities | Tribes and Indigenous Peoples
Chapters from the 2018 U.S. government report, with attention to issues like impacts on urban quality of life, the vulnerabilities and health risks for rural populations, and threats to Indigenous peoples’ livelihoods and economies.

UN-Habitat Climate Change
An initiative on converging effects of urbanization and climate change. Resources include reports on the global environment outlook for cities and a ClimateAction4Cities campaign. More on the topic in this Q&A with UN-Habitat’s executive director.

The Sustainable Cities Impact Program, funded by the Global Environment Facility and led by the UN Environment Programme, works with more than 20 cities across Asia, Africa and Latin America towards a zero-carbon urban future. Also see climate change-city resources at the UN Environment Programme.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
A global alliance for city climate leadership, with commitments of over 10,000 cities and local governments to tackle the challenges of climate change. Resources include a climate action playbook for local and regional governments and a Race to Zero campaign.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
A global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development, including on climate change, renewable energy and efficiency. 

C40 Cities
A network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating for climate change action, with a summit in October 2022, and recent initiatives including a Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration and a Global Youth and Mayors Forum.

Climate-Smart Cities
A program of The Trust for Public Land to partner with city leaders and residents to design, fund and build climate-smart parks and green spaces. U.S. partner cities include Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans and Richmond, Calif.

Pledges and Progress Report
The Brookings Institution policy think tank analyzes progress toward greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Also see nonprofit Zero Energy Project’s sortable database listing municipalities committed to building climate action plans, with links to their actual plans.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: Tribal Nations
Threats to Indigenous communities throughout the United States, with guidelines for considering traditional knowledges in climate change initiatives, and information on Indigenous health indicators and tribal climate change adaptation planning. Also see the Tribal Climate Resilience Program from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Tribal Climate Change Guide, part of the Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Project; a USDA report on climate change and Indigenous peoples; and this assessment of the representation of Indigenous peoples in climate change reporting.

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