Climate Change Adaptation - Oklahoma

State Seal of Oklahoma

        Threat to Water Supply and Quality     Threat from Intensified Weather Events     Threat from Increased Drought     Threat to Natural Habitat and Wildlife    
        Action: Planning or Conducting Studies                      

Climate Change History

Oklahoma is examining effects on all water supplies and water availability as part of the Oklahnma Comprehensive water plan.  Oklahoma has exhibited distinct climate periods attributable to natural variability in the last 100 years, from the decadal-scale droughts of the 1910’s, 1930s and 1950s to an extended period of abundant precipitation during the 1980s and 1990s. Mounting evidence continues to indicate, however, that human activities have begun to impact the earth’s climate through the release of greenhouse gases. -- Oklahoma Climatological Survey “Statement on Climate Change and Its Impacts for Oklahoma”

Current & Future Action

Oklahoma is examining effects on all water supplies and water availability.

The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) for Oklahoma has been completed. This is the first step in targeting wetlands for restoration, soil carbon research, and mitigation of carbon sequestration.

The Oklahoma Climatological Survey and Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program have brought together state and municipal agencies to discuss climate change adaptation planning.

The OU Center for Spatial Analysis is gathering LANDSAT data going back 40 years. This data can provide additional historical context to NWI images and be potentially useful to evaluate historical presence/age of wetlands, which may be useful when gathering soil carbon sequestration data to determine if wetlands are viable to use as carbon offsets.

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission Carbon Sequestration Certification Program verifies and certifies carbon sequestration from agriculture, forestry, and geologic sequestration and is considering including verification of carbon offsets from wetlands restoration in the Program in the future. It is currently in the information gathering stage.

The state is providing input to ODWC, USFWS & USGS on proposals they are developing for landscape level funding of climate change research.  They are focusing on species of concern in certain ecoregions of concern with particular emphasis on riparian areas and wetlands.  Oklahoma is fortunate to have four different ecoregion based study areas, which presents four possibilities for funding.

Pilot Programs/Current Studies

The state does not, as yet, have any specific pilots or case studies.

For More Information

For information regarding Oklahoma wetlands contact Chris DuBois

For the Oklahoma Climatological Survey visit:

The Center for Spatial Analysis website pertaining to carbon sequestration is: