National Climate Assessment 4 is released

Black Friday wouldn’t seem like the ideal day to release a report as important as this, but there it is.  This report is Part 2, covering Risks, Impacts and Adaptation in the US. It is based on a massive amount of scientific study, as detailed in Part 1, which was released last year.

For those who don’t have time to read it, the short version is that things are going to get really bad soon in many parts of the US if we don’t turn this car around.  Fires, floods, coastal erosion & flooding and declining property values along the coast, climate refugees, heat waves that kill people, infrastructure collapse, agricultural failures with decreasing food security and increasing food prices, and so on.  And the knock-on effects of all that will impact places and industries that maybe aren’t feeling direct effects, so the economy will shrink. Not a pretty picture.

It won’t be just Arctic peoples’ cultural heritage and valuable scientific information that gets lost.  It will be public infrastructure and homes and food sources and drinking water.  The problems that we are seeing here in North Alaska now will most likely be coming to a place near you soon if enough isn’t done to change things.  This really isn’t the sort of thing to be gambling on.

The way it is set up, you can download executive summaries of the whole thing and of each chapter, but not the whole report or whole chapters.  They have to be read online.  Not much thought given to folks who live in rural communities with low bandwidth and/or super expensive internet ($299/month for 5Mb/sec and a 100GB data cap anyone).  If it could be downloaded, costs and the downloaded documents could be shared.



3 thoughts on “National Climate Assessment 4 is released

  1. Anne: Please post this on FaceBook so I can share it.. Too important.. I will save my comments on the politics of the release for a proper venue

    1. Just saw the various social media links and sent it to FB for my Philadelphia and beyond friends, some politically inclined and involved, some scientists, the rest simply important intelligent people who care. Thanks Anne Jensen

  2. Anne,
    There is a page where you can download either the entire National Climate Assessment report or individual chapters– I’m not sure if it was added after your post or is just hard to find, but it’s

    The download link for the screen-formatted version of the report is (It’s 38 MB; there’s also a print-quality version that’s almost 5 times that size.)

    The equally dire findings from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were released in October in a Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 ºC. It too has many chapters and versions, but the summary for policymakers (only 3 MB!) can be downloaded at

    Key takeaway:
    To limit long-term warming to 1.5°C with little or no overshoot, the consensus is that global emissions need to be cut drastically by 2030, by about 45% of 2010 levels. Ultimately they need to go to ~ 0, but if we get there too slowly — i.e., we don’t get a major reduction in the next decade — there will be a big overshoot.

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