Once again, a seminal scientific report is confirming that climate change is happening and is already having adverse impacts throughout the United States. Today, the federal government released the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), the most comprehensive and transparent examination of peer-reviewed science on climate change impacts in the United States ever produced. The NCA echoes the findings of the latest reports from the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, which state with high certainty that emissions from human activities are causing global climate change.
“The NCA once again confirms that climate change is already impacting Americans across the country, and its effects are predominantly negative,” said Carol Werner, EESI’s Executive Director. “The impacts of climate change are not partisan. Hopefully policymakers will use the important knowledge put forward in this report to help their constituents address so many of the issues our communities are now facing as a result of climate impacts already occurring.”
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute is hosting a series of briefings on the National Climate Assessment. This Thursday, EESI will hold a Capitol Hill event providing a general overview of the NCA, with NCA authors Dr. Gary Yohe, Environmental Science Professor at Wesleyan University, and Dr. Donald Wuebbles, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. Briefings on climate impacts in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast will follow (a briefing on climate impacts in the Southwest has already taken place).
Temperatures in the United States are now 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they were in 1895, with most of the increase happening in the last 44 years. Across the country, sea levels are rising, rainfall patterns are changing, summers are getting longer and hotter, winters are becoming shorter and warmer, and summer sea ice in Alaska is receding. The implications of these changes are considerable, threatening communities with relocation, increasing drastic flood events, extending the wildfire season, and increasing the severity of droughts.
Third National Climate Assessment (NCA): www.globalchange.gov
May 8 Briefing on the National Climate Assessment: eesi.org/briefings/view/050814nca