What Climate Change Means for Regions Across America

Today, the Obama Administration unveiled the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA)—the most comprehensive, authoritative scientific report ever generated about climate changes that are happening now in the United States and further changes that we can expect to see throughout this century. The report—a key deliverable of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan—confirms that climate change is affecting Americans in every region of the United States and key sectors of the national economy.

This NCA embodies the concept of “actionable science” called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan. It communicates the impacts of climate change according to geographic region of the United States, and by economic and societal sector—including agriculture, energy, and health. These tailored findings help translate scientific insights into practical, useable knowledge that can help decision-makers and citizens anticipate and prepare for specific climate-change impacts.

For instance, the report finds that, on the whole, summers are longer and hotter, with longer periods of extended heat. Wildfires start earlier in the spring and continue later into the fall. Rain comes down in heavier downpours. People are experiencing changes in the length and severity of seasonal allergies. And climate disruptions to water resources and agriculture have been increasing. 

And the report confirms that across America, people are experiencing climate-change impacts that are not uniform. In the Northeast, for example, communities are affected by heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge. In the Southwest, drought and increased warming foster wildfires and increased competition for scarce water resources for people and ecosystems.

These and the other essential findings in the new NCA are the result of a three-year analytical effort by a team of over 300 climate scientists and experts, informed by inputs gathered through more than 70 technical workshops and stakeholder listening sessions held across the country. The resulting product was subjected to extensive review by the public and by scientific experts in and out of government. This process of unprecedented rigor and transparency was undertaken to ensure that the findings of this report rest on the firmest possible base of expert judgment.

Understanding of climate change and its impacts on our Nation continues to grow. This National Climate Assessment is a key step to further expand the knowledge base in ways that are immediately relevant and useful to business owners, resource managers, public health officials, and community leaders who are living and working on the front lines of climate change.

We applaud the many contributors to this report and urge all Americans to get informed about how climate change is affecting their own regions by visiting www.globalchange.gov.

Tune in to a live event at the White house about the release of this report today at 2:00pm EDT at www.whitehouse.gov/live


State Reports

Alabama                              Alaska                          Arizona                       Arkansas         
 
California                            Colorado                      Connecticut               Delaware
 
Florida                                 Georgia                         Hawaii                              
 
Idaho                                    Illinois                           Indiana                       Iowa
 
Kansas                                Kentucky                       Louisiana                  Maine
 
Maryland                             Massachusetts            Michigan                    Minnesota
 
Mississippi                          Missouri                        Montana                    Nebraska
 
Nevada                                New Hampshire         New Jersey               New Mexico
 
New York                             North Carolina            North Dakota            Ohio
 
Oklahoma                            Oregon                         Pennsylvania           Rhode Island
 
South Carolina                   South Dakota              Tennessee                Texas
 
Utah                                      Vermont                       Virginia                      Washington
 
West Virginia                      Wisconsin                    Wyoming                   

 

Dr. John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science & Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan is Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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