U.S. National Climate Assessment: Resources and media

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The 2014 National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Impacts in the United States, was given final approval and released by the Obama administration today. “Climate change presents a major challenge for society,” the report warned. “There is mounting evidence that harm to the nation will increase substantially in the future unless global emissions of heat-trapping gases are greatly reduced.” This major report, developed over four years by several hundred scientific and technical experts, represents the most authoritative and comprehensive knowledge base about how climate change is affecting the U.S., and its likely consequences during the 21st century.

Home page for the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, Climate Change Impacts in the United States. HIghlights document and full report, with major sections on Our Changing Climate, Regions, Sectors, and Response Strategies. Viewable online and downloadable.

The U.S. National Climate Assessment has also been posted in an interactive, mobile-device-friendly, digital format at www.globalchange.gov.

White House FACT SHEET: What Climate Change Means for Regions across America and Major Sectors of the Economy

Justin Gillis at the New York Times: Climate Change Study Finds U.S. Is Already Widely Affected

The report, the National Climate Assessment, was prepared by a large scientific panel overseen by the government, and received final approval at a meeting Tuesday morning in Washington. The report was unveiled at the White House, and President Obama planned to spend part of the day highlighting the findings in interviews with television weather forecasters around the country. ...

The ominous findings of the report are likely to give Mr. Obama fresh ammunition as he seeks to tackle the problem in a significant way. However, scientists involved in the report said there had been no political interference in their work. In fact, they went beyond any language the president has used as they cataloged risks. ...

The report pointed out that while the country as a whole still has no comprehensive climate legislation, many states and cities have begun to take steps to limit emissions and to adapt to climatic changes that can no longer be avoided. But the report found that these efforts are inadequate compared with the magnitude of the problems that are coming.

Darryl Fears at the Washington Post: U.S. climate report says global warming impact already severe

Joe Romm at Climate Progress: Landmark Report Warns Time Is Running Out To Save U.S. From Climate Catastrophe

The National Climate Assessment is the definitive statement of current and future impacts of carbon pollution on the United States. And the picture it paints is stark: Inaction will devastate much of the arable land of the nation’s breadbasket — and ruin a livable climate for most Americans.
“Americans face choices” explains the Congressionally-mandated report by 300 leading climate scientists and experts, which was reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences. We’re already seeing serious climate impacts — such as more extreme heat waves, droughts, and deluges — and additional impacts are “now unavoidable.” But just how bad future climate change is “will still largely be determined by choices society makes about emissions.” ...

The time to act was a long time ago when we were first warned by climate scientists, but continued inaction in the face of the vindication of those scientists and even graver warnings today, is beyond immoral.

Chris Mooney at Mother Jones: 7 Scary Facts About How Global Warming Is Scorching the United States

Kiley Kroh at Climate Progress: Authors Of Major U.S. Climate Report: ‘The Old Normal Is Broken’

Emily Atkin at Climate Progress: U.S. Climate Report: For Some Native Groups, There’s Literally Nowhere To Run

Obama senior adviser John Podesta on MSNBC: Can Obama take action on climate change?

Eli Kintisch at Science: As U.S. Climate Changes, White House Embraces the Science Like Never Before

The White House has just released its new National Climate Assessment (NCA), and its central scientific message will be familiar to climate scientists and the White House press corps. Climate impacts are already apparent in the United States, they are likely to worsen, and communities should begin factoring climate change into all kinds of decisions. ...

What’s new, however, is that after putting climate issues somewhat on the back burner prior to the 2012 elections, the Obama administration is now giving a full-throated, multiday endorsement to the 1300-page document. ...

[T]his is by far the fullest embrace of the assessment process in its tumultuous 24-year history. (Here’s a historical blow-by-blow, by a former federal climate office official.) ...

[S]ome outsiders say the report could have gone further. The World Wildlife Fund's Nicky Sundt, a former federal official with the U.S. Global Change Research Program, lauds the new report as part of "a permanent process" to spin out subsequent updates and reports as the nation prepares for climate change. But he says the federal advisory committee that oversees the report, which includes both government and nongovernment members, prevented the process from including “some of the most important policy issues. … There's nothing in the report on budgets, nothing on national security."

At www.vimeo.com/channels/nca, you can access a series of videos illuminating some of the findings of the just-released U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Earlier post: U.S. National Climate Assessment to be released May 6

This entry was posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Obama Climate Plan. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to U.S. National Climate Assessment: Resources and media

  1. Forrest says:

    Good general summation of the report. I am glad to hear of the White House's support of the document. It will be interesting to see if it actually has an affect on US environmental policy though...

  2. R Lewis says:

    The growing effects of climate change have kind of taken backseat to the healthcare bill. Like healthcare bill, this bill is outrageous in length. I don’t know many people who have the patience and endurance to get through a 1300 page document. I hope that this document is further condensed and made more readily available to the public. There was such a huge media outcry to stop obesity. I highly doubt that media efforts of a similar level will be made for our environment.

    • Rick- Climate Science Watch says:

      The full-length National CLimate Assessment report (the final version is about 800 pages, if I'm not mistaken) is accompanied by a very readable Highlights document with a lot of graphics (about 100 pages) and a 10-page Overview summary document. They can be linked to and either read onscreen or downloaded at http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/downloads, which also includes the various components of the full report. The full-length report is needed as a reference work. Not many people will read it cover to cover, but the very wide range of subject matter means there is a lot of scientifically based information to synthesize in the report, and the full report is the place where you can see the full documentation and detailed discussion.

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