This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 14, 2014

President Obama Unveils New U.S. National Climate Assessment

President Obama on May 6 unveiled the third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) detailing climate changes that are happening now in the United States, as well as further changes that can be expected throughout this century. The report confirms that climate change is affecting Americans in every region of the United States and key sectors of the national economy.

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 while 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.

The report confirms that across the United States, people are experiencing climate 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.

The new NCA is the result of a three-year analytical effort by a team of more than 300 climate scientists and experts, including many from the Energy Department’s national labs, informed by inputs gathered through more than 70 technical workshops and stakeholder 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 was undertaken to ensure that the findings of this report rest on the firmest possible base of expert judgment. See the White House Blog, the statement by Energy Department Secretary Moniz, the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment website, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program website.

Features