Interactive Mapping Features Will Provide Communities with Location-Based Information on Extreme Heat, Drought, Wildfires, and Other Climate Imp
Interactive Mapping Features Will Provide Communities with Location-Based Information on Extreme Heat, Drought, Wildfires, and Other Climate Impacts
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is launching a website that, for the first time, provides a live dashboard to help communities see extreme weather and other hazards from climate change they are facing, while also providing maps projecting how each community could be impacted in the future. The new Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal will help state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and leaders better track real-time impacts and access federal resources for long-term planning.
Americans are feeling the intensifying impacts of the climate crisis—from extreme heat across the country, including the dangerous “heat dome” gripping California this week; record-breaking floods across the South and Midwest; Western drought straining the water supplies that millions depend on; and more wildfires threatening communities. Last year, the 20 largest climate-related disasters alone took hundreds of lives, caused untold hardships, and racked up more than $150 billion in damages.
In addition to providing more detailed, location-specific data about climate threats, the new portal also brings together multiple federal information sources and funding opportunities to help communities better prepare for and respond to climate impacts—including historic resilience funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for states and communities around the country. Together with the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing historic levels of support to expand resilience programs, protect U.S. communities, economies, and infrastructure from the worsening impacts of climate change, and improve the nation’s climate mapping and data capabilities.
Helping Communities Better Understand and Plan for Climate Risk
The Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal is a first-of-its kind hub that will help communities, federal agencies, and other levels of government better understand current exposure to climate risks to strengthen their resilience plans. The portal, which will continue to evolve to meet community needs, includes:
- Real-time monitoring dashboard: To help track the climate-related hazards that are affecting communities each day, a new dashboard brings together maps showing areas currently under extreme heat advisories, drought conditions, and inland and coastal flooding warnings, as well as the locations of active wildfires and areas of poor air quality they produce.
- Assessments of local climate exposure: In addition to real-time data about extreme weather events, the portal also helps communities understand their historic and future exposure to various climate impacts. The portal’s Assessment Tool provides hazard reports on heat, drought, and flooding down to the census tract level, including projections of future impacts in both low and high-emissions scenarios, based on climate models used in the U.S. National Climate Assessment. This interactive application will help local resilience planners and other users understand how future temperature, precipitation, and flooding conditions may impact their community in the near-term and by mid- and late-century.
- Funding opportunities and other federal resources: The portal also centralizes federal data, programs, and funding opportunities that are available to support resilience efforts—including resources for extreme heat, drought, wildfire, flooding, and coastal inundation and sea level rise. The CMRA Assessment Tool will also help state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments develop data-driven proposals to access federal funding.
Building on Climate Data Efforts Across the Administration
The new web portal is an outgrowth of a National Climate Task Force initiative to provide more accessible climate information and decision tools, as directed by President Biden in his Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. As part of this initiative, last year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched a redesigned Climate.gov and this year the National Integrated Heat Health Information System launched the new Heat.gov—using data sources that are now incorporated into the CMRA portal.
The Assessment Tool also integrates information from federal initiatives including:
- Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool: As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, this screening tool identifies disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The Assessment Tool identifies these census tracts as well, helping planners at all levels of government prioritize equity as they design and implement resilience projects.
- Building Code Adoption Tracking Portal: As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, FEMA continues to update its Building Code Adoption Tracking portal on the status of state, local, Tribal, and territorial building codes and whether these codes provide resistance to hazards such as floods, hurricanes, and tornados. This information on whether an area is covered by a hazard-resistant building code is shown in the Assessment Tool.
- Updated Sea Level Rise data: Earlier this year, the Administration issued the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, with updated sea level rise projections out to the year 2150 for all U.S. states and territories. This data is incorporated throughout the portal’s resources on coastal inundation.
Under President Biden’s leadership, the Administration has secured historic new investments to further improve our nation’s climate mapping and data capabilities. NOAA is using resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to enhance a wide array of climate data and services, including flood forecasting, soil moisture monitoring, and wildfire prediction and detection. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act provides resources for NOAA to improve computing capacity, forecasting, and research for weather and climate impacts, as well as over funding for the Council on Environmental Quality to boost data collection on disproportionate environmental harms and climate impacts.