Understanding Climate Change

In Delaware, scientists, state agencies and local partners are working together to understand how climate change is affecting our state.

What do we know about climate change and Delaware?

Climate Change Impact AssessmentClimate change is already affecting Delaware. Over the coming years, we can anticipate even worse effects–more days of dangerously high heat, heavier precipitation, and sea level rise that leads to significant flooding.

The Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment breaks down past and projected future climate trends in Delaware, and what these mean for Delaware’s public health, water resources, agriculture, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Read the full report or a 12-page summary.

The Delaware Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment takes a deep dive into the impacts that sea level rise will have on the state. The assessment includes:

  • Causes of sea level rise
  • Sea level rise trends in Delaware
  • Future scenarios for sea level rise in Delaware
  • Mapping and data for over 75 natural resources and structures that will be impacted by rising seas, like schools, fire stations, homes, wetlands, factories, wells, roads and habitats.

Tools for understanding the impacts of climate change on Delaware

These tools provide a visual of the Delaware’s past, current and future conditions, and the effects of climate change across the state.

Delaware Climate Projections Portal

The Delaware Climate Projections Portal provides data on Delaware’s climate indicators like temperature, precipitation, and length of growing season, tracked back to 1950 and projected out to 2100. Users can compare past climate conditions in Delaware to conditions we can expect with climate change based on the level of our greenhouse gas emissions.

Average Temperatures 1950 - 2100

The portal is hosted by the University of Delaware as part of the Office of the State Climatologist.

Delaware Sea Level Rise Inundation Map

The Delaware Sea Level Rise Inundation Map is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to see the areas in Delaware that are vulnerable to rising waters from sea level rise.

The map is based on the Recommendation of Sea-Level Rise Planning Scenarios for Delaware report, prepared by the Delaware Sea Level Rise Technical Committee.

2017 Coastal Inundation Map