This afternoon, the White House gave a briefing about the third National Climate Assessment, released today.
Here’s the biggest takeaway: climate change is happening to you right now.
“It’s happening now, and we need to pay attention,” said Dr. Jerry Melillo of the Marine Biological Laboratory at today’s White House event. “Every American will find something of interest to them.”In one way or another, most of the speakers who worked on preparing the National Climate Assessment emphasized that climate change is neither something in the distant future nor something that will only impact coastal regions.
In contrast to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (ICPP) report, this document focuses in on the United States, breaking down the nation into eight regions. Each region is being impacted in one way or another.
“Moist areas will get wetter, dry areas will get drier,” said NOAA’s Tom Karl during the live-streamed event.
For example, coastal regions are experiencing more serious and frequent flooding from rising sea levels. But inland regions also face more frequent flooding due to heavier rainfalls. Many areas that already face extreme heat will continue to see record temperatures, and along with them, poorer air quality.
The report contains a number of strategies and solutions for adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and will hopefully have a positive impact on policies at both the local and national levels.
“The challenge before us now is to take this information off the pages,” said NOAA’s Dr. Kathy Sullivan. “And actually deliver it to communities.”