Washington, D.C. — On May 6, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the Third National Climate Assessment, which it called “the most comprehensive, authoritative, transparent scientific report on U.S. climate change impacts ever generated.” The report confirms that climate change is affecting every region of the country and key sectors of the U.S. economy and society, underscoring the need to combat the threats climate change presents and increase the preparedness and resilience of American communities.
Among the report’s findings are the following:
· Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades, and new and stronger evidence confirms that some of these increases are related to human activities.
· Impacts related to climate change are already evident in many sectors and are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond.
· Infrastructure is being damaged by sea level rise, heavy downpours, and extreme heat; damages are projected to increase with continued climate change.
· Water quality and water supply reliability are jeopardized by climate change in a variety of ways that affect ecosystems and livelihoods.
· Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being affected by climate change. The capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts of extreme events like fires, floods, and severe storms is being overwhelmed.
The Third National Climate Assessment is available to download at http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/downloads and can be explored interactively through a newly redeployed website at www.globalchange.gov. In this mobile-compatible site, every piece of the report is shareable, including graphics, key messages, regional highlights, full chapters, and more. More broadly, the new site features accessible and dynamic information, topical call-outs, resources, and news about global change and related Federal research and engagement efforts.
The findings of the Third National Climate Assessment are fully traceable and supported by metadata through the Global Change Information System (GCIS), a new gateway to Federal global change information that delivers on goals set in USGCRP’s 2012–2021 Strategic Plan. The GCIS enables traceability between environmental data streams (such as observations from sensors and outputs from models) and the resulting scientific findings and publications. Going forward, the GCIS is intended to expand to provide this traceability for other key reports.
The Third National Climate Assessment was developed over four years by hundreds of the Nation’s top climate scientists and technical experts, guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee, and informed by extensive input from the public and outside organizations gathered through town hall meetings, public comment opportunities, and technical workshops across the country.