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.

Explore the effects of climate change
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Key Message

There is no "one-size fits all” adaptation, but there are similarities in approaches across regions and sectors. Sharing best practices, learning by doing, and iterative and collaborative processes including stakeholder involvement, can help support progress.

Supporting Evidence
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Supporting Evidence

Process for Developing Key Messages:

A central component of the process were bi-weekly technical discussions held from October 2011 to June 2012 via teleconference that focused on collaborative review and summary of all technical inputs relevant to adaptation (130+) as well as additional published literature, the iterative development of key messages, and the final drafting of the chapter. An in-person meeting was held in Washington, D.C., in June 2012. Meeting discussions were followed by expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors and targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each key message. Consensus was reached on all key messages and supporting text.

Description of evidence base

The key message and supporting text summarize extensive evidence documented in the peer-reviewed literature as well as the more than 130 technical inputs received and reviewed as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input.

Literature submitted for this assessment, as well as additional literature reviewed by the author team, fully supports the concept that adaptations will ultimately need to be selected for their local applicability based on impacts, timing, political structure, finances, and other criteria.1,2 Similarities do exist in the types of adaptation being implemented, although nuanced differences do make most adaptation uniquely appropriate for the specific implementer. The selection of locally and context-appropriate adaptations is enhanced by iterative and collaborative processes in which stakeholders directly engage with decision-makers and information providers.1,3,4 While there are no “one-size fits all” adaptation strategies, evidence to date supports the message that the sharing of best practices and lessons learned are greatly aiding in adaptation progress across sectors, systems, and governance systems.5,6

Additional citations are used in the text of the chapter to substantiate this key message.

New information and remaining uncertainties

n/a

Assessment of confidence based on evidence

n/a

Confidence Level

Very High

Strong evidence (established theory, multiple sources, consistent results, well documented and accepted methods, etc.), high consensus

High

Moderate evidence (several sources, some consistency, methods vary and/or documentation limited, etc.), medium consensus

Medium

Suggestive evidence (a few sources, limited consistency, models incomplete, methods emerging, etc.), competing schools of thought

Low

Inconclusive evidence (limited sources, extrapolations, inconsistent findings, poor documentation and/or methods not tested, etc.), disagreement or lack of opinions among experts

References

  1. Burkett, V., and M. Davidson, 2012: Coastal Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities: A Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. Island Press, 216 pp. | Detail

  2. Lackstrom, K., K. Dow, B. Haywood, A. Brennan, N. Kettle, and A. Brosius, 2012: Engaging Climate-Sensitive Sectors in the Carolinas. Technical Report: CISA-2012-03: Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments. 180 pp., Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA), University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. URL | Detail

  3. NPS, 2010: National Park Service Climate Change Response Strategy. 36 pp., U.S. National Park Service Climate Change Response Program, Fort Collins, Colorado. URL | Detail

  4. NRC, 2010: Adapting to Impacts of Climate Change. America’s Climate Choices: Report of the Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change. National Research Council. The National Academies Press, 292 pp. URL | Detail

  5. NRC, 2010: Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change. America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Informing Effective Decisions and Actions Related to Climate Change. National Research Council, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Academies Press, 348 pp. URL | Detail

  6. Preston, B. L., R. M. Westaway, and E. J. Yuen, 2011: Climate adaptation planning in practice: An evaluation of adaptation plans from three developed nations. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 16, 407-438, doi:10.1007/s11027-010-9270-x. | 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