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.

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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.

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Trends in Flood Magnitude

Trends in Flood Magnitude

There are significant trends in the magnitude of river flooding in many parts of the United States.1,2,3,4 River flood magnitudes (from the 1920s through 2008) have decreased in the Southwest and increased in the eastern Great Plains, parts of the Midwest, and from the northern Appalachians into New England.5 The map shows increasing trends in floods in green and decreasing trends in brown. The magnitude of these trends is illustrated by the size of the triangles. (Figure source: Peterson et al. 20135).

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References

  1. Hirsch, R. M., and K. R. Ryberg, 2012: Has the magnitude of floods across the USA changed with global CO2 levels? Hydrological Sciences Journal, 57, 1-9, doi:10.1080/02626667.2011.621895. URL | Detail

  2. Peterson, T. C. et al., 2013: Monitoring and understanding changes in heat waves, cold waves, floods and droughts in the United States: State of knowledge. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94, 821-834, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00066.1. URL | Detail

  3. Villarini, G., and J. A. Smith, 2010: Flood peak distributions for the eastern United States. Water Resources Research, 46, W06504, doi:10.1029/2009wr008395. URL | Detail

  4. Villarini, G., F. Serinaldi, J. A. Smith, and W. F. Krajewski, 2009: On the stationarity of annual flood peaks in the continental United States during the 20th century. Water Resources Research, 45, W08417, doi:10.1029/2008wr007645. URL | Detail

  5. Villarini, G., J. A. Smith, M. Lynn Baeck, and W. F. Krajewski, 2011: Examining flood frequency distributions in the Midwest U.S. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 47, 447-463, doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00540.x. 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