Climate and Land Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report


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Climate change is expected to alter streamflow volume and variability in watersheds throughout the world, which will have impacts on agricultural, aquatic, and urban environments. Human modifications such as the building of reservoirs and the extraction of water for agricultural and urban uses, however, are thought to mask climate-induced changes in streamflow. Using observed streamflow data from over 3, sites from to , this work identifies negative trends in streamflow throughout the southern and western portions of the United States and positive trends across the eastern portion of the United States and Canada.

Within these regions, streamflow trends from human-modified sites are similar to unimpacted sites, indicating that the signal of climate change is apparent in all streamflow systems. Changes in climate are driving an intensification of the hydrologic cycle and leading to alterations of natural streamflow regimes. Human disturbances such as dams, land-cover change, and water diversions are thought to obscure climate signals in hydrologic systems. As a result, most studies of changing hydroclimatic conditions are limited to areas with natural streamflow. Here, we compare trends in observed streamflow from natural and human-modified watersheds in the United States and Canada for the — water years to evaluate whether comparable responses to climate change are present in both systems.

We find that patterns and magnitudes of trends in median daily streamflow, daily streamflow variability, and daily extremes in human-modified watersheds are similar to those from nearby natural watersheds. Streamflow in both systems show negative trends throughout the southern and western United States and positive trends throughout the northeastern United States, the northern Great Plains, and southern prairies of Canada.

The trends in both natural and human-modified watersheds are linked to local trends in precipitation and reference evapotranspiration, demonstrating that water management and land-cover change have not substantially altered the effects of climate change on human-modified watersheds compared with nearby natural watersheds. Streamflow volume and seasonal variability are key indicators of agricultural and urban water availability as well as primary regulators of the distribution and diversity of taxa in freshwater ecosystems 1.

As streamflow is generated by precipitation and snowmelt that is not lost to evapotranspiration or groundwater recharge, much of the interannual variability in streamflow can be traced to concurrent variability in climate 2 , 3. As concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to increase, spatial and seasonal precipitation patterns are altered 4 , the proportion of precipitation falling as snow is reduced 5 , and evaporative demand is increased 6.

In natural watersheds, these changes can directly affect the timing and volume of streamflow. Primary human modifications include reservoir construction and irrigation projects, which, in some cases, can mask, dampen, or even change the sign of natural streamflow trends 8. Past research using a variety of metrics has demonstrated that streamflow trends in natural watersheds closely follow regional changes in precipitation and evapotranspiration 9 , While these studies highlight the influence of climate changes on streamflow trends, they do not investigate trends in human-modified watersheds, which are more common throughout the world.

Since human-modified watersheds are so ubiquitous, characterizing the signature of climate change in these systems is critical for the management of water resources and freshwater ecosystems in the coming century. We address this knowledge gap by analyzing daily streamflow trends in natural and human-modified systems based on data from 3, stream gauges throughout Canada and the United States using — water-year data SI Appendix , Fig.

We concentrate on statistics that assess changes in daily streamflow across a number of ecologically and water resource-relevant characteristics including median daily streamflow, daily streamflow variability [interquartile range IQR ; a measure of seasonal variability], and daily extremes 1st and 99th percentiles, 7-d maximum, and number of days without streamflow per year. We first discuss overall trends in streamflow, then investigate differences in trends between natural and human-modified watersheds, and finally evaluate the relative role of climatic drivers on the streamflow trends.

This study does not assess differences in the shape of the hydrograph between human-modified and natural watersheds. While it is very likely that human modification has altered the natural streamflow regime, this study focuses on temporal changes trends in summary statistics of streamflow. The trend analyses identify regionally distinct changes in recent streamflow throughout the United States and Canada that are largely consistent across all streamflow metrics Figs.

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It is worth noting that droughts in the southwestern United States 15 , California 16 , and central United States 17 during the latter part of our period of record have reinforced trends in those regions. This band has a break in the north-central United States for median streamflow trends, where an area of negative or minimal streamflow change exists Fig.

Trends in streamflow metrics for the — water years for typical streamflow metrics. The sizes of the circles human modified and squares natural represent the relative area of the upstream drainage area. Due to the differences in drainage areas, the sizes of the squares and circles are not directly comparable. Trends in streamflow metrics for the — water years for low streamflow metrics.

For the days with zero streamflow days panel, only gauges where trends in zero streamflow days exist are shown. Trends in streamflow metrics for the — water years for high streamflow metrics. Larger watersheds are much more likely to have water infrastructure and management, so streamflow trends for large watersheds tend to be smaller as a percentage and less variable than those for small watersheds Figs. Water conveyance between subwatersheds in a managed watershed can balance heterogeneous seasonal and geographic variation in precipitation 18 , supporting the assumption that larger river networks tend to dampen signals of climate change The trends in low streamflow have slightly higher rates of statistical significance 9.

S3 and Tables S1 and S2 but show more spatial variability within each region compared with other streamflow metrics. This larger spatial variability is likely due to the dominance of baseflow during low-flow conditions. Baseflow originates from groundwater and saturated soil, so it is primarily a function of local soils and geology rather than large-scale climate forcing Previous work indicates higher spatial variability in baseflow trends compared with total streamflow 3.

Additionally, water management may obscure climate-driven trends in low streamflow as water is released from reservoirs to meet downstream water demands during dry periods when baseflow would be low in natural watersheds , conveyance moves water within and between watersheds, and minimum instream flows limit water extraction when streamflow is low 1.

Even though this analysis is limited to streamflow gauges where days without streamflow exist throughout the observational record, changes in days without streamflow are extremely important both for total water supply reliability and the persistence of aquatic species, especially in the arid southwestern United States While days without streamflow may not represent a complete loss of water from a stream section, the remaining standing water represents an extreme habitat alteration i.

The longer the duration of this habitat alteration, the greater the potential for long-lasting negative impacts on freshwater taxa that are adapted to lotic systems 1. The Lins and Slack 22 analysis, however, contains fewer streamflow gauging stations and covers a different time period compared with our analysis.

Specifically, there is limited temporal overlap between their study ending in and our study starting in Similar to Lins and Slack 22 , our results show fewer gauges with significant trends as streamflow percentiles increase. However, Lins and Slack 22 show a greater number of significant positive trends than significant negative trends, while our results indicate a more even balance between the two.

These differences in streamflow trends correspond to widespread differences in reference evapotranspiration ET o and precipitation trends across the different time periods considered SI Appendix , Fig. S4 ; see SI Appendix for additional methods and discussion. Our analyses from to coincide with a period of widespread increases in ET o , along with regional changes in precipitation, that result from a combination of anthropogenic radiative forcing 4 and decadal-scale internal climate variability e.

To examine the consistency of trends between natural and human-modified rivers and streams, we compare trends from gauges with natural streamflow to nearby gauges with human-modified streamflow. For each natural gauge, we extracted trends from all human-modified gauges within a km radius and report the mean trend of these gauges see Materials and Methods for detailed information.

This analysis assumes that streamflow from these proximate gauges is driven by similar climate variability and trends to that at the paired natural gauges. Regardless of water resources management, proximate gauges show similar trends in most streamflow metrics Fig. These results suggest that, in managed systems, water management and reservoir releases to meet downstream water demands reduce some climate-driven streamflow variability and extremely low streamflow. Augmented low flows in managed systems are used to maintain ecosystem services, habitat for freshwater species, and water supply reliability for cities and agriculture.

These results indicate that managed reservoirs may serve as a resource to mitigate the impacts of climate change on low baseflows and zero streamflow days for humans and aquatic ecosystems, particularly in areas where extreme low-flow events are increasing in frequency 24 , However, total streamflow for all watersheds is inevitably limited by precipitation and evapotranspiration, so water management and water infrastructure have a limited ability to increase streamflow above that supplied by accumulated precipitation Scatterplots of natural versus nearby human-modified streamflow trends in percent change for the — water years.

The solid black line is the line, and the dashed line is the least-squares regression plotted for reference. The mean of trends from all human-modified gauges within km of a natural gauge was estimated and compared against trends from natural gauges Materials and Methods. The color bar indicates the number of human-modified streamflow gauges used to estimate the mean, and the uncertainty bar shows the mean absolute deviation of trends between the human-modified streamflow gauges.

To infer the causes of natural and human-modified streamflow trends, we assess precipitation and ET o trends for the same time period using the gridMET 4-km dataset 26 for the United States and the TerraClimate 4-km dataset 27 for Canada. Climate trends are estimated using the grid point closest to the streamflow gauge as a proxy for the climate variability of the contributing watershed. While this may not capture all climate trends upstream of the gauge, many of the watersheds used in this analysis have a small drainage area SI Appendix , Fig.

We calculate trends in total water-year precipitation and ET o for the period of record and relate these variables to median streamflow trends. Given that streamflow trends are similar across metrics and the temporal mismatch between precipitation and streamflow extremes 28 , we focus on median streamflow. Spatial patterns of trends in precipitation closely match those of median streamflow trends, with decreases in precipitation throughout the southern and western United States SI Appendix , Fig.

S5 , largely related to changes in minimum and maximum air temperature SI Appendix , Fig. We examine the combined effect of total water-year precipitation and ET o on streamflow trends using three multiple linear regression models one with all gauges, one with only natural gauges, and one with only human-modified gauges. Regression models were estimated using median streamflow trend as the dependent variable and total water-year precipitation and ET o trend as the independent variables.

As a result, median daily streamflow trends show a similar combined sensitivity to precipitation and ET o trends in natural and human-modified systems and when they are pooled Fig. Multiple linear regression results for the three models shown in Fig. For all three models, the median daily streamflow trend in percentage is the dependent variable and total water-year precipitation and ET o trend both in percentage are the independent variables. CIs show considerable overlap between models, suggesting that a differential response to climate forcing is not evident.

Response surfaces for all watersheds Top , natural watersheds Middle , and human-modified watersheds Bottom of the linear regression of trends in median daily streamflow percentage change on trends in total water-year reference evapotranspiration y axes and total water-year precipitation x axes both in percent change for the — water years. Color of filled circles shows the trend in median daily streamflow for each station. In summary, there is a strong correspondence between streamflow trends from gauges with natural streamflow and those with human-modified streamflow, indicating that large-scale trends in climate are clearly evident in human-modified watersheds.

These results suggest that hydrologic alterations due to climate change and subsequent impacts on freshwater ecosystems will likely be realized in similar ways in natural and human-modified systems. We do not, however, find as strong a relationship between natural and human-modified systems for streamflow variability IQR trends or extreme low flows 1st percentile trends , indicating that water management operations that leave water in streams for water delivery or aquatic habitat purposes provide more uniform flows throughout the year.

This confirms the increasingly important role that reservoirs may play in managing baseflow and hydrologic variability 25 , Additionally, in the western United States, streamflow used for environmental purposes typically has more junior rights than other entities such as agriculture or urban water use, so watersheds that are becoming drier may have environmental flows eliminated first Streamflow trends are largely driven by large-scale precipitation and evapotranspiration trends and thereby by temperature trends , with changing precipitation patterns being particularly important [and more uncertain 30 ] for water management in the future.

Given the importance of streamflow for agriculture, urban water deliveries, and aquatic ecosystems, our results indicate that large-scale climate trends are already affecting water availability, regardless of whether rivers are natural or managed. These datasets include both natural and human-modified streamflow. The natural streamflow datasets are not entirely free from human modification. For example, while land use change is minimal in these watersheds, other human modification such as agricultural practices e. Additionally, the human-modified watersheds may differ in type or degree of human modification e.

The question of the degree of modification is not easily resolved, as different modifications land use change vs. Drainage areas for streamflow gauges range from 4 to 1,, km 2 , median streamflow discharge ranges from 0. For the natural streamflow gauges in total , drainage areas range from 4 to 25, km 2 , median streamflow discharge ranges from 0. All analyses use daily water yield in millimeters per day separated into water years October 1 through September For each water year, we examined six ecologically relevant metrics that encompass typical daily flow median water yield , variability of daily flow interquartile range , and extreme daily flow 99th percentile, 1st percentile, 7-d maximum streamflow, and the number of days with zero streamflow.

We extracted precipitation, ET o , maximum air temperature, and minimum air temperature from the 4-km gridded surface meteorological dataset [gridMET 26 ]. Canadian climate data were extracted from the monthly 4-km spatial resolution TerraClimate For both datasets, ET o was estimated using the Penman—Monteith algorithm for a grass surface Climate data were examined at the voxel colocated with each gauge with the assumption that climate trends would be similar for the contributing watershed. Statistical analyses and trends for all streamflow metrics and climate data were performed for the — water years, resulting in a element time series for trend analyses.

Trend magnitudes for water years — were assessed using the Theil—Sen slope estimator. The Theil—Sen slope is a robust estimator for trend analysis, as it uses the median slope of all data pairs. Statistical significance was evaluated using the Mann—Kendall trend test with a threshold P value of 0. The streamflow metrics and climate data used in this work do not exhibit strong temporal autocorrelation, with lag-1 autocorrelation coefficients for all metrics being less than 0. All trends for streamflow metrics, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration were converted to percent change by dividing by the y metric mean.

To compare trends from natural and human-modified streamflow gauges, trends from human-modified streamflow gauges that were within km of each natural streamflow gauge were extracted and the mean trend was estimated. This analysis allows for a direct comparison between natural and nearby human-modified streamflow trends. Warming ocean temperatures high confidence , acidification high confidence , and sea level rise very high confidence will alter coastal and ocean ecosystems likely and threaten the ecosystems services provided by the coasts and oceans likely in the Northeast.

There is high confidence that ocean temperatures have caused shifts in the distribution, productivity, and phenology of marine species and very high confidence that high tide flooding and storm surge impacts are being amplified by sea level rise. Because much will depend on how humans choose to address or adapt to these problems, and as there is considerable uncertainty over the extent to which many of these coastal systems will be able to adapt, there is medium confidence in the level of risk to traditions and livelihoods.

It is likely that under higher scenarios, sea level rise will significantly alter the coastal landscape, and rising temperatures and acidification will affect marine populations and fisheries. High Confidence. The urban built environment and related supply and management systems are at increased risk of disruption from a variety of increasing climate risks. These risks emerge from accelerated sea level rise as well as increased frequency of coastal and estuarine flooding, intense precipitation events, urban heating and heat waves, and drought.

Coastal flooding can lead to adverse health consequences, loss of life, and damaged property and infrastructure. The frequency of dangerous coastal flooding in the Northeast would more than triple with 2 feet of sea level rise. Using the U. Intense precipitation events can lead to riverine and street-level flooding affecting urban environments. Over recent decades, the Northeast has experienced an increase of intense precipitation events, particularly in the spring and fall.

Urban heating and heat waves threaten the health of the urban population and the integrity of the urban landscape. Changes in temperature and precipitation can have dramatic impacts on urban water supply available for municipal and industrial uses. Under a higher scenario RCP8.

Projecting changes in urban pollution and air quality under a changing climate is challenging given the associated complex chemistry and underlying factors that influence it. For example, fine particulates PM 2. Interdependencies among infrastructure sectors can lead to unexpected and amplified consequences in response to extreme weather events. However, it is unclear how society may choose to invest in the built environment, possibly strengthening urban infrastructure to plausible future conditions.

There is high confidence that weather-related impacts on urban centers already experienced today will become more common under a changing climate. For the Northeast, sea level rise is projected to occur at a faster rate than the global average, potentially increasing the impact of moderate and severe coastal flooding. By the end of the century and under a higher scenario RCP8. Extreme events that impact urban environments have been observed to increase over much of the United States and are projected to continue to intensify. There is high confidence that heavy precipitation events have increased in intensity and frequency since , with the largest increase in the Northeast, a trend projected to continue.

Changing climate threatens the health and well-being of people in the Northeast through more extreme weather, warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise very high confidence. These environmental changes are expected to lead to health-related impacts and costs, including additional deaths, emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and a lower quality of life very high confidence. Health impacts are expected to vary by location, age, current health, and other characteristics of individuals and communities very high confidence.

Extreme storms and temperatures, overall warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise are all associated with adverse health outcomes from heat, 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 , , , poor air quality, , , disease-transmitting vectors, 67 , , contaminated food and water, , , , harmful algal blooms, and traumatic stress or health service disruption. Uncertainty remains in projections of the magnitude of future changes in particulate matter, humidity, and wildfires and how these changes may influence health risks.

For example, health effects of future extreme heat may be exacerbated by future changes in absolute or relative humidity. Health impacts are ultimately determined by not just the environmental hazard but also the amount of exposure, size and underlying susceptibility of the exposed population, and other factors such as health insurance coverage and access to timely healthcare services.

In projecting future health risks, researchers acknowledge these challenges and use different analytic approaches to address this uncertainty or note it as a limitation. In addition, there is a paucity of literature that considers the joint or cumulative impacts on health of multiple climatic hazards. Additional areas where the literature base is limited include specific health impacts related to different types of climate-related migration, the impact of climatic factors on mental health, and the specific timing and geographic range of shifting disease-carrying vectors. There is very high confidence that extreme weather, warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise threaten the health and well-being of people in the Northeast.

There is very high confidence that these climate-related environmental changes will lead to additional adverse health-related impacts and costs, including premature deaths, more emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and lower quality of life. There is very high confidence that climate-related health impacts will vary by location, age, current health, and other characteristics of individuals and communities. Communities in the Northeast are proactively planning high confidence and implementing medium confidence actions to reduce risks posed by climate change.

Using decision support tools to develop and apply adaptation strategies informs both the value of adopting solutions and the remaining challenges high confidence. Experience since the last assessment provides a foundation to advance future adaptation efforts high confidence. Reports on climate adaptation and resilience planning have been published by city, state, and tribal governments and by regional and federal agencies in the Northeast.

Regis Mohawk Tribe, the U. The percentage of communities in the Northeast that are planning for climate adaptation and resilience and the percentage of those using decision support tools are not known. More case studies would be needed to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation actions. There is high confidence that there are communities in the Northeast undertaking planning efforts to reduce risks posed from climate change and medium confidence that they are implementing climate adaptation. There is high confidence that decision support tools are informative and medium confidence that these communities are using decision support tools to find solutions for adaptation that are workable.

There is high confidence that early adoption is occurring in some communities and that this provides a foundation for future efforts. This Key Message does not address trends into the future, and therefore likelihood is not applicable. National Topics cont. Read More. Key Message 4 Threats to Human Health Changing climate threatens the health and well-being of people in the Northeast through more extreme weather, warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise.

Key Message 5 Adaptation to Climate Change Is Underway Communities in the Northeast are proactively planning and implementing actions to reduce risks posed by climate change. Key Message 1. These maps show projected shifts in the date of the last spring freeze left column and the date of the first fall freeze right column for the middle of the century as compared to — under the lower scenario RCP4.

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The bottom row shows the shift in these dates for the end of the century under the higher scenario. By the middle of the century, the freeze-free period across much of the Northeast is expected to lengthen by as much as two weeks under the lower scenario and by two to three weeks under the higher scenario. By the end of the century, the freeze-free period is expected to increase by at least three weeks over most of the region. From Figure Geological Survey. Hodgkins , U. Geological Survey Erika E. Lentz , U. Geological Survey Katherine E.

Lane , U. Hollinger , U. Department of Agriculture William D. Wellenius , Brown University Perry E. Knott , University of New Hampshire. Technical Contributors: Zoe P. Johnson , U. Geological Survey Benjamin T. Gutierrez , U. Robert Thieler , U. Geological Survey Sara L. Zeigler , U. Recommended Citation. Related Links. Figure Sources: U. Department of Transportation, U. A nutria shows off its signature orange teeth. These large South American rodents are already a …. Challenges for Natural Resource-Based Industries Shorter, more moderate winters will present new challenges for rural industries.

Each symbol represents the change for an individual river over the entire period. Changes in the timing of snowmelt potentially interfere with the reproduction of many aquatic species and impact water-supply reservoir management because of higher winter flows and lower spring flows. The average winter—spring air temperature increase of 1. Source: adapted from Dudley et al. Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.

Source: adapted from Wolfe et al. Over the period —, sea surface temperature on the Northeast Continental Shelf has warmed at a rate of 0. This rate is three times faster than the — global SST warming rate of 0. Both seasons have warmed over the time period, but the summer warming rate has been stronger. Source: Gulf of Maine Research Institute. This heat wave affected the Northeast Continental Shelf ecosystem and fisheries, and similar extreme events are expected to become more common in the future Ch. Source: adapted from Mills et al.

As waters in the region have warmed, the spatial distributions of many fish species have been shifting northward, while population trends of several marine species show more variability over time. The left panel shows shifts in spatial distribution over time for select fish species, based on their latitudinal centers of biomass.

The four panels on right show biomass estimates for the same marine resource stocks. Gulf of Maine cod, a coldwater species, has not shifted in location but has declined in biomass, while black sea bass a warmwater species has moved northward and increased in biomass as waters have warmed. The lobster distribution shift reflects declines in productivity of the southern stock and increasing biomass of the northern stock. Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Flooding Along the Mid-Atlantic coast from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Cape Cod, Massachusetts , several decades of tide gauge data through have shown that sea level rise rates were three to four times higher than the global average rate.

Landscape Change and Impacts on Ecosystems Services. Source: U. Projections of Future Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Projections for the region suggest that sea level rise in the Northeast will be greater than the global average of approximately 0. Climate—Infrastructure Interaction and Heightened Risks Northeastern cities, with their abundance of concrete and asphalt and relative lack of vegetation, tend to have higher temperatures than surrounding regions due to the urban heat island effect increased temperatures, typically measured during overnight periods, in highly urbanized areas in comparison to outlying suburban, exurban, and rural locations.

Impacts on Urban Economies Service and resource supply infrastructure in the Northeast region is at increasing risk of disruption, resulting in lower quality of life, economic declines, and increased social inequality. Preparedness in Cities and Towns Projected increases in coastal flooding, heavy precipitation, runoff, and extreme heat would have negative impacts on urban centers with disproportionate effects on at-risk communities.

Health Effects of Extreme Heat Present-day high temperatures heat have been conclusively linked to a higher risk of illness and death, particularly among older adults, pregnant women, and children Ch. About 1, fewer annual heat-related ER visits are projected for the end of the century under the lower scenario RCP4. Sources: left Brown University; middle, right adapted from Kingsley et al. Additionally, local medical professionals mobilized to staff temporary clinical sites. Photo credits: a, b Sara Zeigler, U. Geological Survey; c Josh Seibel, U.

Fish and Wildlife Service. Process Description It is understood that authors for a regional assessment must have scientific and regional credibility in the topical areas. Author selection for the Northeast chapter proceeded as follows: First, the U. Description of evidence base Multiple lines of evidence show that changes in seasonal temperature and precipitation cycles have been observed in the Northeast.

Description of evidence base Warming rates on the Northeast Shelf have been higher than experienced in other ocean regions, 39 and climate projections indicate that warming in this region will continue to exceed rates expected in other ocean regions. Furthermore, specific tipping points for many coastal ecosystems are still not well resolved , , and vary due to site-specific conditions , The Northeast Shelf is sensitive to ocean acidification, and many fisheries in the region are dependent on shell-forming organisms.

High Confidence Description of evidence base The urban built environment and related supply and management systems are at increased risk of disruption from a variety of increasing climate risks. Major uncertainties Projecting changes in urban pollution and air quality under a changing climate is challenging given the associated complex chemistry and underlying factors that influence it.

Description of confidence and likelihood There is high confidence that weather-related impacts on urban centers already experienced today will become more common under a changing climate. Key Message 4: Threats to Human Health Changing climate threatens the health and well-being of people in the Northeast through more extreme weather, warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise very high confidence. Description of evidence base Extreme storms and temperatures, overall warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise are all associated with adverse health outcomes from heat, 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 , , , poor air quality, , , disease-transmitting vectors, 67 , , contaminated food and water, , , , harmful algal blooms, and traumatic stress or health service disruption.

Description of confidence and likelihood There is very high confidence that extreme weather, warmer temperatures, degradation of air and water quality, and sea level rise threaten the health and well-being of people in the Northeast. Key Message 5: Adaptation to Climate Change Is Underway Communities in the Northeast are proactively planning high confidence and implementing medium confidence actions to reduce risks posed by climate change. Description of evidence base Reports on climate adaptation and resilience planning have been published by city, state, and tribal governments and by regional and federal agencies in the Northeast.

Description of confidence and likelihood There is high confidence that there are communities in the Northeast undertaking planning efforts to reduce risks posed from climate change and medium confidence that they are implementing climate adaptation. Ahmed, S. Bencala, and C. Palmer, Trend and variability in observed hydrological extremes in the United States.

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