From the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment

Posted: August 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm, Last Updated: August 24, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Last year, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the Third United States National Climate Assessment. The result of a three-year effort by a team of over 300 experts, this report outlines the latest scientific understanding of current trends in climate science. These findings serve as a valuable resource for those in the critical infrastructure community tasked with protecting and preparing infrastructure assets to cope with threats posed by the trends of global climate change, including shifts in weather patterns, coastal water levels, and frequency of extreme weather events.

We share here two brief summaries of findings from the National Climate Assessment.

First, “Infrastructure: Highlights from the Third National Climate Assessment” provides an overview of how climate change has impacted and is anticipated to impact critical infrastructure, including transportation and energy. This synopsis details how climate changes, such as sea level rise, heavy downpours, and extreme heat, are damaging infrastructure across the United States, including cascading effects across interdependent systems. Impacts of extreme weather conditions on lifeline transportation and energy assets are specifically highlighted.

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Second, “Report Findings: Climate Change Impacts in the United States” provides a synopsis of noteworthy findings concerning how climate change is impacting a variety of key domestic elements, including infrastructure, human health, agriculture, and natural ecosystems, to name a few. This document details the challenges currently caused by climate change and concludes that while efforts to provide for adaptation to and mitigation of the challenges associated with climate change are increasing, current implementation efforts are insufficient.


The full report is available on the U.S. Global Change Research Program website at http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/. The print version of the report and selected highlights are available for download at http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/downloads.

Write to the Editors at ciprpt@gmu.edu