Sustainability Climate Change

Where — and how — Americans are experiencing climate change the most

A new website offers users a chance to see what extreme climate events their communities are at risk of experiencing. 
Smoke from wildfire
A helicopter carries water on a longline to a wildfire near Salem, Ore., at sunset Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Climate change is bringing drier conditions to the Pacific Northwest and that requires strategies that have been common in fire-prone California for the past decade or more, said Erica Fleishman, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University. AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Story at a glance

  • The Biden administration recently launched a new website aimed at mapping out climate change disasters in real time.

  • The website launched earlier this month to help resilience planners better understand future climate threats and local, state and tribal authorities access federal resources.  

  • Users can see past, present and future climate threats down to the census tract level. 

With raging wildfires in California, devastating floods in Kentucky and scorching temperatures in Texas, it seems like every day there is a new extreme climate change event in the U.S. 

Now, the federal government has launched a new website aimed at mapping out climate change disasters in real-time.  

For example, the website has mapped out the location of all 327 active wildfires in the United States, as well as those at risk of inland flooding. 

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But the main purpose of the site, dubbed the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal, is to educate communities about what extreme climate events they are at most risk for in the future.  

The website’s Assessment Tool allows for users to see hazard reports on heat, drought and flooding down to the census tract level and features projections on future impacts in low- and high-emissions scenarios.  

The data is meant to help resilience planners to better understand future threats and local, state and tribal governments more time to search for federal resources to address long-term planning, according to the Biden administration. 

 “Building climate resilience starts with communities, leaders, and other decision makers understanding their specific climate threats,” said administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Rick Spinrad in a statement.   

“CMRA provides the public with the same NOAA-powered data that the federal government relies on every day to make sound decisions about climate preparedness. We’re honored to host and manage CMRA and believe it can become the first line of defense in protecting people, property, and infrastructure.” 

The site was created by Esri, a geographic information system software company, under contract with NOAA.