Using risk assessment to drive meaningful and significant action.

One of the greatest barriers to action is a lack of appreciation for the profound effect climate change has on human systems and global economies. Woodwell is translating far-reaching climate impacts into concrete socioeconomic terms—risk assessments, economic valuations, and cost-benefit analyses—that resonate at the highest levels of government and industry. This approach has the power to help shift public perception, improve corporate decision-making, and motivate large-scale public policy to build green, sustainable, and just economies.

All Risk Experts

Creating powerful partnerships to amplify our impact.

Woodwell scientists are working with public- and private-sector partners to better understand the physical, economic, and societal risks associated with climate change, and to develop evidence-based strategies to address them. From road building to pension funds, municipal bond investment to flood insurance—we help organizations bridge the gap between climate change as perceived threat and proximate reality.

midcentury drought and extreme heat map

Above: Without dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, many parts of the world face increased risks of drought and extreme heat by mid-century. Places where those threats overlap (bright orange regions) are particularly vulnerable.

Map by Greg Fiske

We recently contributed data and analyses to groundbreaking reports such as McKinsey Global Institute’s Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts. We also bring important scientific research and insight to collaborations with Wellington Management, one of the world’s largest independent investment management firms, and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), which resulted in the first-ever guidelines for corporate disclosure of physical climate risk.

Ongoing partnerships like these lead to development of investor tools and innovative analytical methods that improve climate risk assessment and investment outcomes—and, ultimately, drives new policies and corporate business practices that promote economic, environmental and social well-being.

Where we’re focused

Woodwell’s research, data, and mapping capabilities are being used as a vital tool to change attitudes and business practices at organizations around the world. We partner with a wide range of organizations—from international asset managers and community leaders to large landholders, as well as thought leaders and influencers across industries—to find practical applications for climate risk assessments that can spur new market behaviors and ultimately impact policy and decision-making on the largest scale possible.


Woodwell & Wellington


Read more about this work:

Video: Climate adaptation – A conversation with Woodwell Climate Research Center

Woodwell and Wellington continue engagement on SEC climate risk ruling

Policy brief: Corporate climate risk assessment should be standardized and transparent

Woodwell partner a founding member of Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative

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photo by Eric Lee

Climate change is a threat multiplier, worsening existing societal stressors and regional instabilities. Although climate has been identified as critical for national security, the granular impacts of climate change are not regularly included in security strategies.

Woodwell’s Climate Risk Program is working in collaboration with the Center for Climate & Security (CCS) to fill this gap. Our researchers produce focused case studies that provide high-resolution, actionable climate-security analyses that can be used to directly inform security policy for climate-resilient, peaceful, and secure outcomes.


Climate Security

Read more about this work:

Woodwell scientists brief congressional audience on climate security risks

Policy brief: Climate change and security risks

This Summer Previewed the Security Threats of Climate Change: The U.S. Needs to Do More

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Above: Dr. Alex Naegele presents on climate risks in Iran for Congressional staff in DC.

photo by Sarah Ruiz

Communities across the world are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, from droughts to stormwater flooding. To adapt efficiently and effectively, they need access to climate risk analyses that address the specific hazards to their community, and provide a level of detail that allows them to plan next steps. Every community needs and deserves this critical information, regardless of whether they can afford to pay a private company for their products.

Through our Just Access program, our researchers are creating risk assessments free of charge for communities and countries on the front lines of the climate crisis. These reports are an empowerment tool—a foundational understanding of climate hazards on which they can build a pathway to resilience.


Woodwell Climate | Just Access

Read more about this work:

New climate risk and resilience report released in partnership with the DRC

Futures forged in trust

For Summit County, climate is a public health priority

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Above: Dominick Dusseau measures the elevation of an outfall. The data is then used to model the interaction between stormwater and tide/storm surge.

Photo by Dominick Dusseau

To be high-impact, climate risk information must be understandable, actionable, and tailored to its audience. Woodwell Risk scientists are leaders in this work, bringing their insights to every arena through detailed reports for municipalities and countries, high-level webinars and panel discussions, and even congressional testimony.

Our research goes even farther thanks to climate storytellers, from top-tier journalists to our partner, Probable Futures, whose award-winning website guides visitors on engaging, accessible journeys through our climate risk research findings.


Woodwell Climate | Just Access
Probable Futures
Climate Communication

Read more about this work:

Informing U.S. forest policy with science
Woodwell scientists brief congressional audience on climate security risks
Woodwell weighs in with public comment on flood insurance
Woodwell convenes three panels to share perspectives on climate risk

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Above: Dr. Sue Natali testifies to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on September 20, 2022.


photo by Dave McGlinchey
The climate emergency is not just about the future, it’s here. Every decision at every level needs to account for climate risk—the sooner, the better. We make that possible by translating familiar perils, like wildfires and hurricanes, into terms that resonate in the worlds of finance and policy. Dr. Christopher Schwalm, Risk Program Director