Climate change, just around the corner

Author: The editors

How vulnerable is your city, or even your neighborhood, to the effects of climate change? What steps should citizens and officials take to mitigate the impact at the local level? Notre Dame researchers have developed a tool to help answer those questions.


The Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) applied its methods for assessing the climate vulnerability and adaptability of countries around the world to American cities, producing a granular state of the union. Evaluating more than 270 cities with populations of 100,000 or more spanning all 50 states and Puerto Rico, ND-GAIN’s Urban Adaptation Assessment breaks down the municipalities’ risk from floods, extreme heat or cold, sea level rise and drought, and their potential for resilience against those forces. The analysis also zooms into neighborhoods to assess the different ways residents of the same urban area could be affected, allowing cities to direct remedies toward areas of greatest risk and the most vulnerable populations.


The open-source data is accessible to anyone “to help citizens and their elected leaders make informed choices about local-level adaptation and planning strategies,” ND-GAIN director Patrick Regan told Scientific American.


As Al Roker might say, you can explore what’s happening in your neck of the woods at