The federal government released May 6 the Third National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive examination of peer-reviewed science on climate change impacts in the United States. The assessment echoes the findings of the most recent reports from the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, stating with high certainty that emissions from human activities are causing global climate change, and concludes that climate change is negatively impacting Americans already. Thirteen federal agencies overseeing the completion of the assessment under the Global Change Research Program examined climate change over a long-term timescale, observing past trends, identifying current changes, and projecting future scenarios. More than 240 scientists from across public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors volunteered their time on the Global Change Research Act of 1990-mandate report.
Researchers opted not to put a price on domestic climate change impacts because the number would have been difficult to capture accurately, and, ultimately, far too small. The report does include figures for some potential costs posed by climbing temperatures, rising seas, and other changes to specific regions and sectors.
Following the report’s release to Congress by Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, President Obama gave individual interviews with television meteorologists from across the country in an effort to widen the nation’s attention to the assessment.