Federal Coordinating Lead Authors:
Leah Nichols, National Science Foundation
Robert Vallario, U.S. Department of Energy
Chapter Lead:
Leon Clarke, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Chapter Authors:
Mohamad Hejazi, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Jill Horing, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Anthony C. Janetos, Boston University
Katharine Mach, Stanford University
Michael Mastrandrea, Carnegie Institution for Science
Marilee Orr, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Benjamin L. Preston, Rand Corporation
Patrick Reed, Cornell University
Ronald D. Sands, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Dave D. White, Arizona State University
Review Editor:
Kai Lee, Williams College (Emeritus) and the Packard Foundation (Retired)
USGCRP Coordinators:
Kristin Lewis, Senior Scientist
Natalie Bennett, Adaptation and Assessment Analyst

Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems

Examples of interactions among sectors and systems can be found across the regions in this assessment. The cascading failures resulting from hurricanes are considerations across several coastal regions, including the Southern Great Plains (for example, Hurricane Harvey in 2017; see Box 17.1), the Southeast (for example, Hurricane Irma in 2017), and the Caribbean (for example, Hurricane Maria in 2017). Energy, water, and land systems subject to both climate-related stressors (such as droughts and heat waves) and non-climate influences (such as changes to population, urbanization, and economic development) are important considerations in the Southwest, the Southern Great Plains (for example, the 2012–2015 drought in Texas), and the Northwest (for example, the snow drought in Oregon in 2015). The feedbacks between forest fires and water quality and availability have created challenges in regions including the Southeast (for example, the Appalachian region in 2016) and the Southwest (for example, the Sierra Nevada range over the last five years). Changes in arctic permafrost have caused significant erosion, leading to new risks in transportation and human health in Alaska. The natural gas and other energy industries rely on the effective management of not only railroads and transportation networks but also the diminishing water supply in the Northern Great Plains region. A need for cross-sector planning for climate change impacts in the Great Lakes region has led to new adaptation networks in the Midwest. In Hawai‘i, increasing ocean temperatures and ocean acidification threaten coral reefs and marine biodiversity, with attendant economic impacts to tourism, fishery yields, and populations who depend on these for their livelihoods. Increasingly frequent and intense storms, heavy precipitation events, warmer water temperatures, and a rise in sea level in the Chesapeake Bay in the Northeast are projected to impact local populations, who depend on productive fisheries and ecosystems for their livelihoods, resources, and culture.

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