National Climate Assessment Report Issued, Portrays Dire Impacts

Last week, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and its 13 federal member agencies released the Congressionally-mandated National Climate Assessment (NCA) which assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States. The comprehensive and extensive report examines 12 different national topic areas on which climate change will have significant impacts, including communities, health, agriculture, water, and the economy.

Specific to public health, the report determines that “impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.” The report includes a comprehensive human health chapter that further examines heat-related illnesses, food-, water-, and vector-borne diseases, and mental health consequences and stress.

The report also examines regional impacts of climate change. California is included in the Southwest chapter, and likely impacts include higher temperatures, rising sea levels, droughts, and wildfire risk. Actions to respond to the historical impacts of climate change and to reduce future environmental risks that are being undertaken by local governments and organizations are featured in the report, as well.

The latest edition of the National Climate Assessment report is available here.