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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Federal agencies are out with the first iteration of new climate adaptation and resilience plans under the Biden administration.

Catch up fast: The reports released by the White House Thursday come in response to an executive order issued by President Biden on Jan. 28.

  • Agencies were asked to look at their exposure to climate risks and put together processes to become more resilient to any threats.

Why it matters: Noteworthy details in this initial wave include:

  • The Energy Department has only "completed screenings and assessments" of its climate vulnerabilities at 51% of its sites so far.
  • The agency is responsible for a sprawling footprint of nuclear weapons storage and disposal sites and national laboratories.
  • The department is especially concerned about the impacts of extreme events, such as heat waves and wildfires, on its outdoor workforce and facilities.
  • Work is underway at the Hanford Site in Washington State to create protocols for workers to operate in high heat, along with "the planting of wildfire-tolerant vegetation and fire barriers."

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security sees a bleak near-term future when it comes to extreme weather events, and warns of surges of climate change migrants fleeing disasters.

  • NASA, an agency more closely identified with studying climate change, has an overarching climate adaptation goal of "maintaining access to space."
  • Many launch facilities the agency uses are located along shorelines that are vulnerable to sea level rise, erosion and hurricanes.
  • And the Defense Department sees increased needs for soldiers to be prepared to operate in extreme weather conditions, including the Arctic. It also notes the possibility of future conflicts over water scarcity.

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Science

Seville to become first city to name and categorize heat waves

An advertising board in Seville shows a temperature 47°C, which is equilivalent to 116.6°F. Photo: CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP

Mayor Juan Espadas announced on Monday that Seville, Spain would become the first city to name and categorize heat waves.

Why it matters: As heat waves become increasingly common due to climate change, naming and categorizing them has the potential to help raise awareness around the devastation they cause and help governments better prepare for them.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.