This website is the digital version of the 2014 National Climate Assessment, produced in collaboration with the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

For the official version, please refer to the PDF in the downloads section. The downloadable PDF is the official version of the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

Credits | Site Map

Search Options

X

Search form

Top

Welcome to the National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

Explore the effects of climate change
United States Global Change Research Program logo
United States Department of Agriculture logo United States Department of Commerce logo United States Department of Defense logo United States Department of Energy logo United States Department of Health and Human Services logo United States Department of the Interior logo United States Department of State logo United States Department of Transportation logo United States Environmental Protection Agency logo National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo National Science Foundation logo Smithsonian Institution logo United States Agency for International Development logo

Economic Disruption

More than 5,790 square miles and more than $1 trillion of property and structures are at risk of inundation from sea level rise of two feet above current sea level – which could be reached by 2050 under a high rate of sea level rise, by 2070 assuming a lower rate of rise, and sooner in areas of rapid land subsidence.2,3,4 Roughly half of the vulnerable property value is located in Florida.3,5

Although comprehensive national estimates are not yet available, regional studies are indicative of the potential risk: the incremental annual damage of climate change to capital assets in the Gulf region alone could be $2.7 to $4.6 billion by 2030, and $8.3 to $13.2 billion by 2050; about 20% of these at-risk assets are in the oil and gas industry.6 Investing approximately $50 billion for adaptation over the next 20 years could lead to approximately $135 billion in averted losses over the lifetime of adaptive measures.6,7

Coast-to-Inland Economic Connections Coast-to-Inland Economic Connections Details/Download

Coastal recreation and tourism comprises the largest and fastest-growing sector of the U.S. service industry, accounting for 85% of the $700 billion annual tourism-related revenues.8,9,10 Hard shoreline protection against the encroaching sea (like building sea walls or riprap) generally aggravates erosion and beach loss, and causes negative effects on coastal ecosystems, undermining the attractiveness of beach tourism. Thus, “soft protection,” such as beach replenishment or conservation and restoration of sand dunes and wetlands, is increasingly preferred to “hard protection” measures.

References

  1. AWF/AEC/Entergy, 2010: Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast: Executive Report. 11 pp., America’s Wetland Foundation, America’s Energy Coast, and Entergy. URL | Detail

  2. Biging, G., J. Radke, and J. H. Lee, 2012: Impacts of Predicted Sea-Level Rise and Extreme Storm Events on the Transportation Infrastructure in the San Francisco Bay Region. Publication number: CEC-500-2012-040. California Energy Commission. URL | Detail

  3. DOT, 2010: Freight Analysis Framework (Version 3) Data Tabulation Tool, Total Flows. U.S. Department of Transportation. URL | Detail

  4. Houston, J. R., 2008: The economic value of beaches – a 2008 update. Shore & Beach, 76, 22-26. | Detail

  5. Neumann, J., D. Hudgens, J. Herter, and J. Martinich, 2010: The economics of adaptation along developed coastlines. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2, 89-98, doi:10.1002/wcc.90. URL | Detail

  6. Neumann, J. E., D. E. Hudgens, J. Herter, and J. Martinich, 2010: Assessing sea-level rise impacts: A GIS-based framework and application to coastal New Jersey. Coastal Management, 38, 433-455, doi:10.1080/08920753.2010.496105. | Detail

  7. NOAA, 1998: National Ocean Report. NOAA’s Office of Public and Constituent Affairs. URL | Detail

  8. Parris, A., P. Bromirski, V. Burkett, D. Cayan, M. Culver, J. Hall, R. Horton, K. Knuuti, R. Moss, J. Obeysekera, A. Sallenger, and J. Weiss, 2012: Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment. NOAA Tech Memo OAR CPO-1. 37 pp., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD. URL | Detail

  9. State of Louisiana, 2012: Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, State of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA. URL | Detail

  10. U.S. Travel Association, 2012: U.S. Travel Forecasts. U.S. Travel Association. URL | Detail

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

United States Global Change Research Program logo United States Global Change Research Program participating agency logos