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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Ocean Impacts of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Ocean Impacts of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

As heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) (panel A), have increased over the past decades, not only has air temperature increased worldwide, but so has the ocean surface temperature (panel B). The increased ocean temperature, combined with melting of glaciers and ice sheets on land, is leading to higher sea levels (panel C). Increased air and ocean temperatures are also causing the continued, dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice during the summer (panel D). Additionally, the ocean is becoming more acidic as increased atmospheric CO2 dissolves into it (panel E). (CO2 data from Etheridge 2010, Tans and Keeling 2012, and NOAA NCDC 2012; SST data from NOAA NCDC 2012 and Smith et al. 2008; Sea level data from CSIRO 2012 and Church and White 2011; Sea ice data from University of Illinois 2012; pH data from Doney et al. 20121,2,3,4,5,6,7,8).

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References

  1. Church, J. A., and N. J. White, 2011: Sea-level rise from the late 19th to the early 21st century. Surveys in Geophysics, 32, 585-602, doi:10.1007/s10712-011-9119-1. | Detail

  2. CSIRO, 2012: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. URL | Detail

  3. Doney, S. C., M. Ruckelshaus, J. E. Duffy, J. P. Barry, F. Chan, C. A. English, H. M. Galindo, J. M. Grebmeier, A. B. Hollowed, N. Knowlton, J. Polovina, N. N. Rabalais, W. J. Sydeman, and L. D. Talley, 2012: Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. Annual Review of Marine Science, 4, 11-37, doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-041911-111611. URL | Detail

  4. Etheridge, D.M., et al., 2010: Law Dome Ice Core 2000-Year CO2, CH4, and N2O Data. | Detail

  5. NCDC, 2012: Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature. NOAA'S National Climatic Data Center. URL | Detail

  6. Smith, T. M., R. W. Reynolds, T. C. Peterson, and J. Lawrimore, 2008: Improvements to NOAA’s historical merged land-ocean surface temperature analysis (1880-2006). Journal of Climate, 21, 2283-2296, doi:10.1175/2007JCLI2100.1. | Detail

  7. Tans, P., and R. Keeling, 2012: Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Full Mauna Loa CO2 Record. NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory. URL | Detail

  8. University of Illinois, 2012: Sea Ice Dataset. 2012. 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