Climate Vulnerability, Adaptation & Resilience

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Communities are built over a long time. Buildings and infrastructure are constructed to perform within a predictable range of conditions and are expected to be around for many decades, if not centuries. Similarly, natural systems, which contribute diverse and incalculable value to the surrounding community, are highly tied to a predictable set of climatic conditions for that region. Whole economies like agriculture and tourism revolve around predictability of the seasons. All of these systems become vulnerable and potentially unstable if climatic conditions change substantially.

Communities like Blacksburg will be well served by taking an honest look at the climate vulnerabilities they will be facing in the coming years and decades. Decisions we make now around infrastructure, land use, transportation investments, buildings, and public health can prepare us, not just to survive in a changing climate, but to thrive. Blacksburg's Climate Vulnerability Assessment revealed four primary community systems that were most at risk in a changing climate. These include: Food Resiliency & Security, Human Health & Wellbeing, Biodiversity & Ecosystems, and Infrastructure and Basic Services.

We invite you to review Blacksburg's Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report and share your thoughts with us as we develop and prioritize a set of effective and equitable adaptation strategies.



Communities are built over a long time. Buildings and infrastructure are constructed to perform within a predictable range of conditions and are expected to be around for many decades, if not centuries. Similarly, natural systems, which contribute diverse and incalculable value to the surrounding community, are highly tied to a predictable set of climatic conditions for that region. Whole economies like agriculture and tourism revolve around predictability of the seasons. All of these systems become vulnerable and potentially unstable if climatic conditions change substantially.

Communities like Blacksburg will be well served by taking an honest look at the climate vulnerabilities they will be facing in the coming years and decades. Decisions we make now around infrastructure, land use, transportation investments, buildings, and public health can prepare us, not just to survive in a changing climate, but to thrive. Blacksburg's Climate Vulnerability Assessment revealed four primary community systems that were most at risk in a changing climate. These include: Food Resiliency & Security, Human Health & Wellbeing, Biodiversity & Ecosystems, and Infrastructure and Basic Services.

We invite you to review Blacksburg's Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report and share your thoughts with us as we develop and prioritize a set of effective and equitable adaptation strategies.



Discussions: All (4) Open (4)
  • Food Resiliency & Security

    11 months ago
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    While Blacksburg has a thriving and robust local food culture, the reality is the vast majority of the food we consume come from outside the community and the region. A changing climate has the potential to adversely impact and even destabilize national and global food production.  This is likely to drive up food prices, and may result in critical food shortages, which will impact those already experiencing food insecurity first and worst.  Please weigh in with your ideas for policies and programs that could improve local food system food resiliency and increase food security for Blacksburg residents in a changing climate.

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  • Human Health & Wellbeing

    11 months ago
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    We know that heat-related illness is likely to increase with hotter summers, particularly for outdoor workers.  People with underlying complex health conditions, the very young and the very old are also more susceptible to heat-related illness.  There is also an increased potential for disease-vector insects to expand their territory into our area.  Please weigh in with your ideas for policies and programs that could improve human health & wellbeing for Blacksburg residents in a changing climate.



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  • Biodiversity and Ecosystems

    11 months ago
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    Natural systems, which contribute diverse and incalculable value to the surrounding community, are highly tied to a predictable range of climatic conditions.   Invasive and pest species may thrive due to some of the anticipated changes to our local climate (hotter summers, warmer winters, increased precipitation).  For instance: gypsy moths, hemlock woolly adelgids, emerald ash borers, corn rootworm, southern pine beetles, and marmorated stink bugs are all susceptible to very cold temperatures. With fewer deep freeze events, populations of these pest insects may flourish and do major damage to our local forests and farms.  Ecosystems and whole sectors of the economy like agriculture and tourism revolve around predictability of the seasons.  All of these systems become vulnerable and potentially unstable if climatic conditions change substantially. Please weigh in with your ideas for policies and programs that could support biodiversity and increase the resiliency of local ecosystems in a changing climate.

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  • Infrastructure and Basic Services

    11 months ago
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    Hotter summers and changing precipitation patterns have the potential to impact local infrastructure and basic services in a number of ways.  Stress to the energy grid and emergency services may both result extended heat waves.  Increased overall precipitation and heavy precipitation events will make flash flooding events more likely, with potential impacts to public safety, emergency services, buildings, roads and other infrastructure. Please weigh in with your ideas for policies and programs that could improve the resilience of our critical infrastructure as well as systems that deliver basic services to Blacksburg residents in a changing climate.

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Page last updated: 08 January 2021, 11:22