FACT SHEET: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Releases New Resources to Advance Climate Science and Support Decision Making
Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is releasing new resources to advance climate science and knowledge, and to support leaders at every level of government in managing the impacts of climate change and building climate resilience in communities.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report this week that underscored the urgent need for action to address the climate crisis and respond to its impacts. The resources being released today will empower communities, businesses, and policymakers with the latest scientific information on climate change, so they can develop science-informed plans and responses to the impacts already underway, as well as those to come.
Today’s new resources include:
- A new report with the best available science on current and future flood risk: Developed by scientific and engineering experts working under the National Climate Task Force, the new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) Climate-Informed Science Approach State of the Science Report will provide federal agencies, local officials, businesses, and others managing flood risk with information on the best available science on current and future flood risk. This information can support implementation of FFRMS, which requires agencies to enhance the resilience of federally funded projects to current and future flooding risk due to the effects of climate change and other future changes. While the report is primarily intended for federal agency staff applying FFRMS, it is a valuable resource for individuals and organizations advancing flood science or managing coastal, riverine, and pluvial flooding risks.
- A new guide for applying climate science information in federal agency climate adaptation planning: All federal agencies are required to develop and implement climate action plans, but navigating climate science information relevant to adaption planning can be challenging. Developed by OSTP, with input from the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this new guide will help federal agencies access the science that they need to advance their climate adaptation plans and enhance the resilience of federal infrastructure, lands and waters, investments, and programs. It includes background on climate models and scenarios, and outlines considerations for selecting scenarios to use in agency assessments of exposure to climate-related hazards and impacts. In addition to serving as a resource for the federal government, this guide can be used by communities and decision-makers who are working to navigate and apply climate science information.
- An action plan to make federal climate information and tools more accessible: The Federal Framework and Action Plan for Climate Services outlines first steps for expanding and improving federal climate information and tools, and for making those resources easier for communities and decision-makers to access, navigate, and leverage as they work to plan for and address climate change. The plan recommends initial steps for a whole-of government approach to ensure that federal climate services are consistently maintained, easy to find, and easy to use—resulting in a more seamless experience for users, and laying the foundation for further collaboration across government. Next steps will include engagement across the federal government to move toward implementation. This plan was developed under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council, with OSTP, NOAA, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as lead authors.
- A framework to use science and technology to strengthen community resilience: The Resilience Science and Technology Grand Pathways Framework will help decision-makers design and implement multipurpose science and technology solutions that strengthen a community’s ability to withstand acute shocks (e.g., natural disasters) and chronic stressors (e.g., aging infrastructure). It identifies factors that affect community vulnerabilities and highlights opportunities where science and technology can inform resource management and risk reduction measures, and support equity and resilience. This framework was developed by the National Science and Technology Council, with OSTP, NOAA, and the Department of Homeland Security as lead authors.
- A report on recent advances in federal global change research: The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is releasing Our Changing Planet, an annual report that highlights recent interagency research, tools, and engagement activities that are driving new discoveries and improving our ability to respond to the challenges of climate and global change. The report also outlines future priorities for USGCRP as it begins to implement its 2022-2031 Strategic Plan, including opportunities to expand participation in the federal global change research enterprise, deepen work on other drivers of global change beyond climate change, and make research results more accessible to the public.
In addition to these new resources, earlier this week, the Administration released the first-ever U.S. Ocean Climate Action Plan, which identifies needs and opportunities to address climate change impacts through ocean-based solutions. Last week, NOAA also released a request for information in support of USGCRP’s work to update a climate literacy guide for individuals, educators and organizations.