Federal agencies reveal climate challenges

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Federal agencies are out with the first iteration of the new Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans Under the Biden administration.

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Catch up fast: The report released Thursday by the White House comes in response to an executive order issued by President Biden on January 28.

  • Agencies were asked to put together processes to look at their exposure to climate risks and become more resilient to any threats.

why it matters: Notable details in this initial wave include:

  • NS Department of Energy The U.S. has so far conducted only a “full investigation and assessment” of its climate-related vulnerabilities at 51% of its sites.
  • The agency is responsible for the vast footprint of nuclear weapons storage and disposal sites and national laboratories.
  • The department is particularly concerned about the effects of extreme events such as heat waves and wildfires on its outdoor workforce and facilities.
  • Work is underway at the Hanford site in Washington state to create protocols for workers to “plant fire-tolerant vegetation and fire barriers” as well as work in high heat.
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During this, When it comes to extreme weather events, the Department of Homeland Security sees a bleak near future, and warns of an increase in climate change migrants fleeing disasters.

  • NASA, an agency more closely identified with studying climate change, has a broader climate adaptation goal of “maintaining access to space.”
  • Many of the launch facilities used by the agency are located along shorelines that are vulnerable to sea level rise, erosion and hurricanes.
  • And this Defense Department sees increased need To prepare soldiers to operate in extreme weather conditions, including in the Arctic. It also notes the possibility of future conflicts over water scarcity.

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