16 June 2009

The Climate is a Changin': According to New Fed Study

[This post was built from a press release by NOAA. My apologies, I'm traveling and wanted to make you aware of this new report.-GS]

Climate change is already having visible impacts in the United States, according to a new and authoritative federal study assessing the current and anticipated domestic impacts of climate change, and the choices we make now will determine the severity of its impacts in the future.

The report, "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States," compiles years of scientific research and takes into account new data not available during the preparation of previous large national and global assessments. It was produced by a consortium of experts from 13 U.S. government science agencies and from several major universities and research institutes. With its production and review spanning Republican and Democratic administrations, it offers a valuable, objective scientific consensus on how climate change is affecting -- and may further affect -- the United States, according to a press release.

"This report stresses that climate change has immediate and local impacts – it literally affects people in their backyards," said Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "In keeping with our goals, the information in it is accessible and useful to everyone from city planners and national legislators to citizens who want to better understand what climate change means to them. This is an issue that clearly affects everyone."

The study finds that Americans are already being affected by climate change through extreme weather, drought and wildfire trends and details how the nation’s transportation, agriculture, health, water and energy sectors will be affected in the future. The study also finds that the current trend in the emission of greenhouse gas pollution is significantly above the worst-case scenario that this and other reports have considered.

The report is available for download online: http://www.globalchange.gov/usimpacts

Key findings can be found: here.