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United States Global Change Research Program

Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States

Released in 2009, this report summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It is largely based on results of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and integrates those results with related research from around the world. This report discusses climate-related impacts for various societal and environmental sectors and regions across the nation. It is an authoritative scientific report written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.

Among the key findings:

  1. Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
  2. Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.
  3. Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase.
  4. Climate change will stress water resources.
  5. Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged.
  6. Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise and storm surge.
  7. Threats to human health will increase.
  8. Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses.
  9. Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems.
  10. Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today.

Last updated June 8 2012