News Archive

posted 03/05/02

Decision-Making in the New York Metropolitan Region
Follow-on Activities and Programs

In order to further the integration of climate into regional decision-making, the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment team proposes the following activities:

Regional Climate Task Force

A Regional Climate Task Force of decision-makers from public and private sectors will greatly increase the response capacity of the New York metropolitan region to extreme climate events and long-term change. Multi-dimensional climate impacts need to be addressed comprehensively in an integrated way that defines common solutions. The Task Force will address both adaptation and mitigation opportunities.

Decision-makers from agencies and organizations across the region, representing a variety of sectors of activities will meet on a regular and on-going basis to discuss potential opportunities for inter-agency and cross-sector collaboration on projects that reduce the risk of climate impacts in the short- and long-term.

Climate Training Program

As an education and outreach component, a climate training program for stakeholders is an effective way to inform decision-makers about the nature of current climate processes, lessons learned in responding to climate extremes, future climate change, and adaptation and mitigation potentials.

Representatives from agencies and organizations will attend a training program that educates decision-makers on the relevance of climate to the New York metropolitan region, the nature of extreme climate events and long-term climate change, and adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Regional Climate Report Card

An annual review of climate indicators will communicate the growing importance of climate extremes and change through local examples that are directly accessible to the general public and decision-makers. Indicators such as extreme climate events, seasonal and annual temperature and precipitation trends, and local sea-level rise will be tracked. The Report Card will focus on indicators that relate climate trends to impacts and mitigation, such as:

  • Heating and cooling degree days (Energy)
  • Tree-blooming dates, bird migrations, wetland loss (Ecosystems)
  • Storm surges, beach nourishment projects (Sea-Level Rise and Coasts)
  • Percent of reservoir capacity (Water Supply)
  • Days out of air quality compliance (Health)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (Mitigation)

The Regional Climate Change Report Card will connect climate variability and change to the lives and experiences of the people in the New York metropolitan region.

For more information about these activities, please contact Cynthia Rosenzweig at, or Bill Solecki at

About The Earth Institute
The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world's leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines — earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences — and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through research, training and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world's poor. For more information, visit