Publications and News

  • Tool

    Climate Hazard and Mitigation Planning (CHaMP) Tool

    This online tool aims to communicate potential vulnerabilities to the public and authorities responsible for allocating resources for hazard mitigation activities, and help local hazard mitigation, infrastructure, and land use planners integrate climate information into their hazard mitigation and other planning efforts.

    Nov 2, 2022

  • Content

    MARISA Year in Review

    This report provides an overview of MARISA activities from September 2021–August 2022. This year represented the beginning of MARISA’s second five-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Activities included expanding work to new geographic areas, developing and deepening partnerships, and making progress to address the overarching question: How can we best support communities in the Mid-Atlantic region to leverage actionable climate science to make informed decisions about building resilience?

    Oct 14, 2022

  • Off Site

    Heat Waves are Getting Hotter and More Frequent. Here’s how to Prepare.

    Extreme temperatures are increasing in the Mid-Atlantic and around the world, but many don’t know how to cope with the heat. The Washington Post spoke to MARISA Lead Investigator Dr. Ben Zaitchik, a professor in earth and planetary sciences at Johns Hopkins University. “We’re going to be facing heat waves of at least the intensity we’ve been experiencing the past couple of years and almost certainly of greater intensity, even if we decarbonize along the best-case scenario.”

    Jul 19, 2022

  • Off Site

    Impact Assessment and Management Challenges of Key Rural Human Health Infrastructure Under Sea Level Rise

    This case study assessed the potential to geospatially quantify the impact of sea level rise on septic systems and adjacent water ways in rural Virginia. The study found that the data necessary to reliably quantify these impacts on a state-wide scale are lacking and need to be prioritized given the potential for extensive sea level rise impacts.

    Mar 22, 2022

  • Off Site

    Regional Flood Risk Projections under Climate Change

    This study developed an integrated modeling framework to assess projected changes in flood risk in Pennsylvania. The projections show flood hazards and exposure increasing with future climate change. Read more about the study in State Impact Pennsylvania.

    Jan 28, 2022

  • Off Site

    Monitoring Intra-Urban Temperature with Dense Sensor Networks: Fixed or Mobile? An Empirical Study in Baltimore, MD

    A paper by MARISA team members Rui Shi, Benjamin Hobbs, and Benjamin Zaitchik compares two intra-urban temperature monitoring strategies in Baltimore, Maryland (stationary sensor networks and mobile, vehicle-mounted sensors). Insights drawn from this study can help to inform cities about how best to conduct their temperature monitoring, collect temperature data, and adapt to high temperatures.

    Sep 16, 2021

  • Report

    A Scoping Literature Review on Indicators and Metrics for Assessing Racial Equity in Disaster Preparation, Response, and Recovery

    Disasters have the potential to exacerbate preexisting racial inequities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency have made commitments to reduce social inequities, but frameworks, indicators, and metrics are needed for tracking progress toward equity goals.

    Jul 15, 2021

  • Tool

    Developing Future Projected Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Curves: Technical Report

    To support stormwater managers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Virginia in adapting to climate change, this study updated intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves, a common tool used for stormwater infrastructure design, to reflect future climate changes.

    Jul 9, 2021

  • Report

    Managing Heavy Rainfall with Green Infrastructure

    Urban stormwater management is a growing challenge in many U.S. cities. An evaluation of Pittsburgh's Negley Run watershed, an urgent flood-risk challenge, shows investment in green stormwater infrastructure could reduce flooding and provide net positive economic benefits.

    Oct 26, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Climate-Resilient Planning for Urban Stormwater and Wastewater Utilities

    This workshop brought together leaders from 15 major metropolitan water utilities in the United States and Canada and other experts to exchange and discuss current practices, lessons learned, and new ideas for developing actionable rainfall projections and incorporating climate-informed stormwater flows into planning processes.

    Mar 5, 2020

  • Off Site

    When Can Decision Analysis Improve Climate Adaptation Planning?

    A paper by MARISA team members Rui Shi and Benjamin Hobbs proposes two procedures to identify climate adaptation decision problems that would most benefit from using formal decision analysis methods. Careful consideration of uncertainty and flexibility may result in better decisions but requires additional effort. These procedures can help decisionmakers understand in which situations a comprehensive analysis is worthwhile and in which situations a simple analysis should suffice.

    Dec 3, 2019

  • Off Site

    Responding to the Risk of Extreme Heat in New York City

    RAND’s Jaime Madrigano, working with the Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), partnered with the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and others to develop a heat vulnerability index (HVI) for NYC and address the impacts of extreme heat on city residents. The HVI informed many of the initiatives in Cool Neighborhoods NYC, the mayor’s plan to protect against the worst effects of rising temperatures from climate change.

    Apr 29, 2019

  • Off Site

    Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Rural Coastal Communities

    What are the effects of sea level rise on rural coastal communities? And as sea level rises, how will coastal communities adapt to the growing challenge of marsh migration and increased flood frequency? MARISA scientists Pamela Braff and Carl Hershner spoke to the Daily Press about the impacts of recurrent flooding and sea level rise on roads and buildings in coastal localities.

    Mar 27, 2018

  • Off Site

    The Growing Threat of Urban Flooding: A National Challenge

    A new report shows that urban stormwater flooding is “a growing source of significant economic loss, social disruption, and housing inequality”. Read the full report to find out more about what issues affect urban flood risk reduction, critical challenges, and the authors’ recommendations.

    Dec 14, 2018

  • Off Site

    The Fourth National Climate Assessment

    The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) was released on November 23, 2018. This report addresses how climate change will affect, and is currently affecting, Americans’ physical, social, and economic well-being. Chapters of interest for the Mid-Atlantic region and Chesapeake Bay watershed are: Chapter 18: Northeast, Chapter 19: Southeast, Chapter 8: Coastal Effects, and Chapter 11: Built Environment, Urban Systems, and Cities.

    Dec 11, 2018

  • Report

    Building Resilience in an Urban Coastal Environment

    What are the potential effects of climate change and sea level rise on flood risk, ecosystems, and water quality in New York City's Jamaica Bay? How can flood risk be reduced while also improving water quality, restoring habitat, and improving resilience to extreme weather events?

    Jul 31, 2018

  • Report

    Adapting to a Changing Climate in Southeast Florida

    Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties are vulnerable to flooding and intrusion of saltwater into drinking water. These risks are driven by sea level rise, changes in precipitation, and urban development. How can the region adapt?

    Jun 6, 2018

  • Project

    Robust Stormwater Management in the Pittsburgh Region

    The city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding region face significant—and potentially growing—stormwater management challenges. Analysis can help better understand the system's vulnerabilities and identify solutions.

    Apr 24, 2017

  • Multimedia

    Fixing What's Broken with Infrastructure Policy: Options for Congress

    An infrastructure bill is on the agenda for Congress, but what problems would it fix? In this RAND Congressional Briefing, Debra Knopman discusses policies that promote and deter investment and maintenance of water and transportation infrastructure.

    Jan 24, 2018

  • Off Site

    An Ambitious Plan to Stop the Ground from Sinking

    Southern Chesapeake Bay region Hampton Roads is tackling land subsidence, while also mitigating risks of sea level rise, through an innovative water treatment project. An article by BBC Future looked at the project, along with others from around the world, that are using innovative ideas to tackle both problems.

    Nov 30, 2017

  • Off Site

    MARISA team at the 2017 National Adaptation Forum

    MARISA Advisory Committee member Kristin Baja was a keynote speaker at the forum in St Paul, Minnesota, from May 9 to 11, and Co-Principal Investigator Jordan Fischbach presented recent findings on stormwater management under future climate scenarios for the City of Pittsburgh. Dozens of stakeholders, decision-makers, researchers, and fellow RISA teams were able to meet MARISA team members and discuss ideas about the program at the co-sponsored MARISA-RAND Corporation booth.

    May 23, 2017