As part of HJ47/SJ47 (2020), the Virginia General Assembly directed the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) to study the “safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia.” In pursuit of this goal, the commission was to “accept any scientific and technical assistance provided by the nonpartisan, volunteer Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (VASEM). VASEM convened an expert study board with representation from the Office of the Governor, planning district commissions in coastal Virginia, The Port of Virginia, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, state universities, private industry, and law firms. In producing the report, the board followed methods similar to those used by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine by convening an expert committee tasked with studying and reporting on the topic. As a result, the report represents the views and perspectives of the study board members but was not submitted for public review or comment.

This report is the product of those efforts. It finds that climate change will have
an increasingly disruptive effect on people living in Virginia’s coastal areas during the 21st century — and that these disruptions will have repercussions across the Commonwealth. It includes an explanation of the physical forces driving climate change, an analysis of the current and projected effects of climate change on the Commonwealth, perspectives that legislators might consider as they face these challenges, and recommendations that could help Virginia implement more productive and effective strategies to address them.

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Produced by the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.