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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Wildfire Smoke has Widespread Health Effects

Wildfire Smoke has Widespread Health Effects

Wildfires, which are projected to increase in some regions due to climate change, have health impacts that can extend hundreds of miles. Forest fires in Quebec, Canada, during July 2002 resulted in up to a 30-fold increase in airborne fine particle concentrations in Baltimore, a city nearly a thousand miles downwind. These fine particles are extremely harmful to human health, affecting both indoor and outdoor air quality. An average of 6.4 million acres burned in U.S. wildfires each year between 2000 and 2010, with 9.5 million acres burned in 2006 and 9.1 million acres in 2012.1 Global deaths from wildfire smoke have been estimated at 260,000 to 600,000 annually.2 (Figure source: MODIS instrument on the Terra Satellite, Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC).

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References

  1. Johnston, F. H., S. B. Henderson, Y. Chen, J. T. Randerson, M. Marlier, R. S. DeFries, P. Kinney, D. M. J. S. Bowman, and M. Brauer, 2012: Estimated global mortality attributable to smoke from landscape fires. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120, 695-701, doi:10.1289/ehp.1104422. URL | Detail

  2. NCDC, 2012: State of the Climate Wildfires. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. 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