Climate Risk Areas Initiative

About the Initiative

The Fourth National Climate Assessment concludes that our changing climate is exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and creating new risks in communities and sectors across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the economy. According to the latest climate change projections, heatwaves, floods, droughts, fires, sea level rise, and other climate risks are likely to increase over the next decades and generate annual losses of hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century.

Billion Dollar Disasters chart

Graphic illustrating the average annual cost of damages per decade. Average annual damages have more than quadrupled since the 1980s, from about $18 billion per year in the 1980s to about $82 billion per year in the 2010s.




Addressing these climate risk challenges requires holistic, interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations that produce usable and actionable science to support and inform decision making, reduce risk, and build resilience to climate-related hazards. Toward this end, NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO) has formed four interdisciplinary teams to develop specific collaborative projects focused on four initial priority climate risk areas: extreme heat, coastal inundation, water resources, and marine ecosystems. Details about each team and their plans and activities can be found below.

CPO is also addressing these four risk areas more broadly through its existing programs, which include foundational Earth system research, regionally-focused resilience and decision support research and applications, communications, engagement and education, and through strengthened partnerships with the NOAA Research laboratories and NOAA service lines.


Great Lakes Satellite image

Water Resources

coming soon



1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.