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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Resilience Mapping

Resilience Mapping

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, March 2, 2018/Categories: marine life, sustainability, environment, adventure , climate change

Distribution of National Climate Change Resilience Scores by County, 2000-2015 : blues higher, tans lower (credit: EPA)

With little fanfare, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released results last fall of a multi-year study: Development of a Climate Resilience Screening Index. In their comprehensive and statistical analysis, the Agency investigated US counties nationwide for their resilience to the changing climate. The results provide important insight on which regions are the most or least prepared to deal with a climate change. Some counties are equipped to handle the changing situation much better than others.

In their Executive Summary the EPA notes:

"there is a recognition across the nation of the benefits in creating environments resilient to adverse climate events. The challenge for communities is to find ways to preserve the socio-ecological systems they depend upon in the face of changing natural hazard threats."

Environmental risk factors such as increasing temperarue and droughts; severe weather like hurricanes and tornadoes; and rising sea-levels flooding low lying regions, were considered in the EPA analysis as well as social characteristics like inequality, ethnicity, and constructed infrastructure. The Study's summary map shows states in the central Great Plains of Texas, Kansas, through the Dakotas; the Appalachian region; and the Southeastern USA; may not be well prepared to handle existing or expected environmental changes in progress.

         

Resilience Maps & Domain Scores by Risk, Governance, Society, Infrastructure, & Natural Environment (credit: EPA)

The Agency considered resilience to be a function of several social domains including the society, building infrastructures, hazard risk, governance, and natural environmental features like topography. Nearly 120 separate big-data sets, including these parameters, were gathered and quantitatively analyzed by the EPA scientists as they developed their indepth maps` Some US cities and counties are already trying to develop more resilient plans and development implementation. Innovation and collaborative programs in architectural design is one strategy as shown by this project in the Northeast.

Many climate resilience efforts will be required to deal with the specific circumstances of the diverse counties and regions in the US. Practical and efficient solutions will provide opportunities for creativity to moderate the effects of climate change. The EPA's 2017 report effort is an important start.

The entire EPA esilience mapping document with its data and related analysis is available here.

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