The Climate Adaptation Science Investigators (CASI) Workgroup is tasked to assist in the development of Climate Change Adaptation strategies for NASA as a whole as well as at individual Centers. Several recent studies, including the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Climate Impacts Report, have highlighted the large range of regional climate change effects that are currently being experienced or are expected in the coming decades. Furthermore, in an Executive Order dated October 5, 2009, titled “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” the President mandates that all agencies “evaluate agency climate-change risks and vulnerabilities to manage the effects of climate change on the agency's operations and mission in both the short and long-term.” The CASI Workgroup contributes to the scientific advancement of relevant climate and impacts science at the Center-scale and contributes to a body of knowledge on how to apply Earth science in decision-making.
The CASI members will work to further the goals outlined in the Executive Order by ensuring that NASA institutional stewards’ decision-making process benefits from the best available scientific information. Climate variability and climate change pose a range of hazards to the NASA Centers located throughout the country. While region-dependent, these hazards are likely to include more frequent and extreme heat events, more intense precipitation, sea level rise and enhanced coastal flooding, as well as changes in seasonal and long-term water availability. These changing climate hazards may challenge key NASA missions by threatening operations and damaging critical infrastructure. Specific climate change impacts on NASA may include: shifting reliability and increasing costs of water and energy, and changes in safety and operations related to extreme events such as fire and floods. By developing climate change adaptation strategies tailored to the specific impacts that are anticipated, NASA decision makers will be able to minimize negative effects of climate and climate change, while leveraging positive outcomes. Because effective risk management requires the best possible understanding of hazards, NASA is seeking to expand collaboration among its Earth scientists, applications researchers, and institutional stewards. NASA Goddard’s Greenbelt campus has a number of climate vulnerabilities. This talk will outline these vulnerabilities, how we are working with Code 200 personnel to ensure that we are prepared for climate changes as they occur.