February 25, 2022
Updated climate change resources are now available for incorporation into physical & environmental risk assessments
In January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) added to its already valuable climate data resources by updating its State Climate Summaries to incorporate the results of the most recent climate modeling and historical observations through 2020. The underlying data, methods, and source code are available to researchers to confirm results or perform additional analyses, making these summaries important tools for understanding potential climate-related risks to infrastructure or contaminated sites at the state and local level.
NCEI's 2022 State Climate Summaries present results from a variety of previously published sources that have been synthesized to identify key messages regarding historical and projected future climate trends. Those key messages reflect state priorities and concerns, up-to-date knowledge of conditions at a state level, consistent modeling assumptions, and the use of a cohesive and vetted set of environmental data.
The summaries do not include probabilistic models (which incorporate the likelihood of specific climate-driven outcomes), but they provide consistent analyses of the impact of plausible climate scenarios on a variety of metrics, including extreme weather events, temperatures, and sea level rise.
The new summaries update those originally published in 2017, following the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, which presented only regional results. The state summaries were designed to address climate concerns at a more granular level. The 2022 State Summary reports and figures were authored by NOAA scientists and experts in each state and reviewed by NOAA regional offices and state climatologists. The summaries can be used to assess risks to critical infrastructure and populations through granular state-level climate information trends (temperature, precipitation, etc.). Understanding these factors as well as occurrences of extreme weather events, sea level rise, and temperature changes, among others, can help to determine states' vulnerabilities to climate factors by sector and locale.
How Exponent can help
Exponent offers strategic, multidisciplinary climate consulting to public and private sector stakeholders seeking to both understand and mitigate the physical and liability risks of climate factors and understand risks to supply chains, including water. Additionally, we assess and advise on the environmental and ecological risks and consequences of climate-related failures and incidents. We can help potentially affected parties understand historical climate variations and trends and how to safeguard themselves from future climate conditions. Our broad expertise across numerous engineering disciplines, public health, ecological and environmental sciences, hydrology, natural resource damage assessment, and restoration and mitigation analysis gives our clients access to an unparalleled wealth of skills and resources that can help build unique solutions to unprecedented challenges.