Building support for climate change action by ensuring policy makers, media and citizens are aware of local U.S. climate impacts.
The U.S. Climate Impacts project works to ensure that policy makers at all levels of government are aware of climate impacts, local efforts to respond and the need for national policy to address the impacts and root causes of climate change.
Our work helps to increase awareness of climate impacts among localities throughout the United States. By bridging the communications gap between scientists, decision makers, and the public, this information can supplement local and state efforts to address the changing climate.
More and more, communities across the United States are feeling the impacts of climate change. From increasingly frequent and severe types of extreme events that include heatwaves, coastal flooding and heavier downpours, the costs of climate change are becoming tangible throughout the country.
2014 was the warmest year on record, continuing a warming trend over more than the last half century that is largely caused by manmade climate change. This long-running warming comes at a time of increasing costly weather and climate events. From 1980 to 2014, there were 178 such events in the United States that each cost $1 billion or more, for a total of more than $1 trillion. These trends are expected to continue and even intensify in a warming world. The message that climate change is not just a problem for future generations but one that is already occurring today needs to be better communicated to the U.S. Congress, state governments, and businesses.
The impacts of coastal flooding and sea level rise are already being felt by coastal communities across the United States. Coastal shoreline counties are home to more than 123 million Americans and account for nearly half the U.S. GDP. Homes, property and critical infrastructure within these communities face a growing threat from coastal flooding as sea levels continue to rise.