Frequently Asked Questions
What is the AAA?
The Adaptation Action Area is a designation in the City of Jacksonville’s Comprehensive Plan that identifies an area that experiences coastal flooding due to extreme high tides and storm surge, and that is vulnerable to the related impacts of rising sea levels, for the purpose of prioritizing funding for infrastructure needs and adaptation planning. The City of Jacksonville AAA is based on a long-term planning horizon and is specifically defined as those areas within the projected limits of the Category 3 storm surge zone and those contiguous areas of the 100-year and 500-year flood zone.
What is green infrastructure?
Green infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing wet weather impacts that provides many community benefits. While single-purpose gray stormwater infrastructure—conventional piped drainage and water treatment systems—is designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment, green infrastructure reduces and treats stormwater at its source while delivering environmental, social, and economic benefits.
Examples include:
What is climate resiliency?
Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” In the context of climate change, resilience is the ability of a system or community to rebound following a shock such as a natural disaster. Improving resilience requires not only recognizing potential hazards like extreme weather events, but also understanding the underlying vulnerabilities that may affect recovery from them.
What is sea level rise?
Sea level rise is an increase in the level of the world's oceans due to the effects of global warming. 
What is the difference between climate change and global warming?
Global warming is just one aspect of climate change. It is a term used to describe the recent rise in the global average temperature near Earth's surface, which is caused mostly by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) in the atmosphere. The terms “global warming” and “climate change” are sometimes used interchangeably, but warming is only one of the ways in which climate is affected by rising concentrations of greenhouse gases.
Why is climate change a serious problem?
The Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and climate scientists estimate it will rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F by the end of this century, depending, in part, on future emissions. Relatively small changes in the planet’s average temperature can mean big changes in local and regional climate. Following are some examples related to water and flooding:
More extreme weather: Changes in precipitation patterns, including extreme precipitation events, storms, and floods, are becoming more common and more severe, and this is expected to continue.
Impacts on crops: Over the past 40 years, climate disruptions to agricultural production have increased, and this is expected to continue.
Rising sea levels: Global sea level has risen by about eight inches since the late 1800s and is projected to rise another one to four feet by the end of this century. Flooding is becoming more frequent along the U.S. coastline, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region where the land is simultaneously sinking.
How can we predict what climate will be like in 100 years if we can’t even predict the weather next week?
Predicting how climate will change in future decades is a different scientific issue from predicting weather a few weeks from now. Weather is short term and chaotic, largely determined by whatever atmospheric system is moving through at the time, and thus it is increasingly difficult to predict day-to-day changes beyond about two weeks into the future. Climate, on the other hand, is a long-term statistical average of weather and is determined by larger-scale forces, such as the level of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere and the energy coming from the sun.

A good analogy of the difference between weather and climate is to consider a swimming pool. Imagine that the pool is being slowly filled. If someone dives in there will be waves. The waves are weather, and the average water level is the climate. A diver jumping into the pool the next day will create more waves, but the water level (aka the climate) will be higher as more water flows into the pool. Climate scientists use models to forecast the average water level in the pool, not the waves.
What are flood mitigation measures?
Intensive physical (structural) measures include levees, bulkheads and walls; retention ponds and surge basins; and increased stormwater infrastructure conveyance.
Green infrastructure measures reduce and treat stormwater at its source and include downspout disconnection, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, planter boxes, bioswales, and permeable pavements.
Are some people more vulnerable than others?
People will be affected by climate change in various ways, but some groups are more vulnerable than others. For example, the poor, the very young, and some older people with less mobility have fewer resources to cope with extreme events. People living in flood plains, coastal zones, and some urban areas are generally more vulnerable as well due to their proximity to flooding sources.