Climate Change Response
The federal governments efforts to respond to climate change include adaptation (adjustments to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate change) and climate engineering (large-scale deliberate interventions in the earth's climate system to diminish climate change or its impacts).
Recent reports on adaptation focused on governmentwide strategic planning, and natural hazard mitigation and insurance have noted the need for a national strategic plan that will guide the nation's efforts to adapt to a changing climate, including defined federal priorities. In addition, the federal government is responding to specific impacts, such as the more than 180 Alaska Native villages affected to some degree by the growing impacts of climate changewhich include melting polar ice, increasing storm intensity, and coastal floodingincreasing the urgency of federal and state efforts to identify imminently threatened villages and assess their relocation options. Figure 1 shows sea erosion at the Alaska Native village of Shishmaref, Alaska.
Figure 1: Sea Erosion of Shishmaref, Alaska (June 2003)
The United States lacks a clear strategy for climate engineering research in the context of the federal response to climate change. See figure 2 for climate engineering technologies, their technical status, future directions for research, and potential responses.
Figure 2: Examples of Climate Engineering Technologies
GAO-11-71: Published: Jul 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2011.
GAO-10-113: Published: Oct 7, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 2009.
GAO-09-551: Published: Jun 3, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 3, 2009.
GAO-07-863: Published: Aug 7, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2007.
GAO-07-285: Published: Mar 16, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2007.
GAO-15-28: Published: Oct 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2014.
GAO-14-755: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014.
GAO-14-504T: Published: Jul 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
GAO-14-446: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014.
GAO-14-74: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2014.
GAO-14-23: Published: Nov 14, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 2013.
GAO-13-829: Published: Sep 19, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2013.
GAO-13-253: Published: May 31, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2013.
GAO-13-242: Published: Apr 12, 2013. Publicly Released: May 14, 2013.
GAO-12-318: Published: Apr 2, 2012. Publicly Released: May 2, 2012.