Reuters

VBZD? "Vector-borne and zoonotic disease." SLCS? "Sea level change scenarios." CSO? "Combined sewer overflow."

This week, a group of 78 representatives from American government agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, and the insurance industry published a report on the threat climate change poses to U.S. coastlines. The document -- formal title: "Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: A Technical Input to the National Climate Assessment" -- clocks in at nearly 200 pages, and functions as a lengthy addendum to the U.S. Global Change Research Program's National Climate Assessment.

The report's findings are unsurprising: Our coastlines are particularly vulnerable to climate change's impacts -- a fact that we have had proven to us anecdotally so many sad times in the recent past. Still, though, the document is worth reading -- or, perhaps, skimming -- in its entirety.

If you don't have time to read a 200-page report, you can also get a pretty good sense of the nation's climate-to-coastline situation by skimming the report in another way: by looking at the list of acronym decodings that the report helpfully provides for its readers. There are 55 of those acronyms in all, and they are illuminating and terrifying in equal measure. SLCS? That means "sea level change scenarios." HABs? "Harmful algae blooms." VBZD? "Vector-borne and zoonotic disease." CSO? "Combined sewer overflow."  

Yes. And the list goes on -- helpfully, horrifically -- abbreviation after abbreviation.

But maybe the scariest one of all? BMP: "Best management practices."

Here's the full report:

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  2. a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.
    Transportation

    For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

    Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

  3. Transportation

    When a Transit Agency Becomes a Suburban Developer

    The largest transit agency in the U.S. is building a mixed-use development next to a commuter rail station north of Manhattan.

  4. A row of electric dockless scooters on a sidewalk
    Transportation

    The Philosophical Argument Against Banning Scooters

    New technologies like dockless e-scooters can generate unexpected harms—but regulations aren’t always the answer.

  5. Design

    The Surprising History of Politics and Design in Playgrounds

    There are more than 2,000 playgrounds spread across New York City. Ariel Aberg-Riger explores the creative and political history of concrete jungle’s jungle gyms.

×