Three goals in its plan have a relationship with climate change. The first is to make the nation's public and private lands more resilient to climate change through land restoration and wildfire management. The second is to implement practices through Farm Service Agency, Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs that target watersheds that will be highly affected by climate change.
And the third is to promote agricultural production through biotechnology innovation, as crops become more susceptible to the stresses of high heat, drought or flooding.
In fiscal 2013, the Department of Defense's primary sustainability focus will be on reducing energy costs and improving energy security on its bases through efficiency measures and renewable energy projects, according to its most recent sustainability report.
DOD's main objective is to enhance military capability, but mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change can contribute to that goal, said Sharon Burke, assistant secretary of Defense for operational plans and programs.
"The effects of climate change -- droughts, floods, population migration, sea level rise, shifts in arable land -- the Department of Defense has a history of looking at those and how they are accelerants to instability, [and] how they affect our ability to operate," she said at a conference last week on renewable energy.
One of DOD's strategies is to "right-size" its nontactical vehicle fleet, which means using large, less fuel efficient vehicles only when necessary. The Army has been working steadily on this for three years. It has also eliminated more than 1,000 large SUVs used for passenger transport.
Like USDA, the Interior Department oversees public lands that have experienced devastating wildfires in past years. Interior also manages wildlife populations, relationships with American Indian and Native Alaskan tribal areas, research on geology and permitting for energy production -- both renewable and fossil fuel.
This marks the first time the agency has written a departmentwide climate change adaptation plan, said Jessica Kershaw, a spokeswoman for Interior.
"We are already making progress in implementing some of the actions," said Kershaw. The climate adaptation policy was incorporated in the Departmental Manual, which provides guidance to the department's 16 bureaus and offices.
The department will also address impacts that cut across different bureaus, update the Climate Science Center Strategic Plans and address the role of economics in adapting to climate change.
The nation's aeronautical agency has more than a dozen satellites in orbit to study the atmosphere, ice sheets, sea-level rise, deforestation and other indicators of climate change. NASA's strategy to manage climate change will include making data from climate experts readily available and holding workshops on adaptive planning. The agency will also seek to integrate practices in existing programs, rather than creating new "flavor of the month" initiatives.
NASA scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig co-chaired the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a group that was organized under the watch of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and in 2009 released a prophetic warning for the city, now apparent after the damage of Superstorm Sandy.
To build resilience into the U.S. transportation system, the Transportation Department report calls for adjusting how transportation infrastructure is designed, built and operated, taking climate and weather-related risks into account. Since transportation infrastructure is designed to last for decades if not centuries, the agency's report writes that it is particularly important that infrastructure designers and operators evaluate the magnitude of climate-related stress over the entire lifetime of a particular project.