Climate Change: Energy Infrastructure Risks and Adaptation Efforts

images[2]According to the NRC and the USGCRP, changes in the earth’s climate–including higher temperatures, changes in precipitation, rising sea levels, and increases in the severity and frequency of severe weather events–are under way and expected to grow more severe over time. These impacts present significant risks to the nation’s energy infrastructure. Economic losses arising from weather-related events–including floods, droughts, and storms–have been large and are increasing, according to USGCRP. Adaptation–an adjustment to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate change–is a risk-management strategy to help protect vulnerable sectors and communities that might be affected by climate change. GAO was asked to examine the vulnerability of the nation’s energy infrastructure to climate change impacts. This report examines: (1) what is known about potential impacts of climate change on U.S. energy infrastructure; (2) measures that can reduce climate-related risks and adapt energy infrastructure to climate change; and (3) the role of the federal government in adapting energy infrastructure and adaptation steps selected federal entities have taken. GAO reviewed climate change assessments; analyzed relevant studies and agency documents; and interviewed federal agency officials and industry stakeholders, including energy companies at four sites that have implemented adaptive measures. Personal Author N/A
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Future Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise, and Ocean Acidification: Implications for Hawaii and Western Pacific Fisheries Management

images[1]The culture, subsistence, and welfare of tropical Pacific Island Nation people are all in some way tied to their proximate fishery resources. Many of these fisheries are already under considerable stress and duress due to human practices such as overfishing, pollution and runoff, habitat destruction and degradation, lack of proper management protocols, and coastal and global population pressures. Other human activities such as fossil fuel use, deforestation and changes in land use and consequent emissions of gases and particulates, such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, methane, etc., to the atmosphere are contributing to alteration of the global climate by a general overall warming of the planetary atmosphere. The warming of the overlying atmosphere in turn warms the underlying surface ocean. In addition to the surface ocean warming, there is also the problem of ocean acidification owing to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide by the surface waters of the ocean. This input of atmospheric carbon dioxide into the surface ocean reduces the surface water pH, which is detrimental to calcifying organisms such as those that are integral to coral reefs or the planktonic calcareous coccolithophoridae and foraminifera. Climate change and ocean acidification both have the capacity to impact simultaneously all organism trophic levels and so the possible negative ramifications can and should not be underestimated.

For info please go to: or call 1-800-553-6847 Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm est.


Personal Author F. T. Mackenzie M. W. Guidry