ASP Submits Public Comment on National Climate Assessment

posted on January 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm

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The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released its draft report of the “National Climate Assessment” (NCA), the third edition of the report. The NCA seeks to collect the most up-to-date science on climate change and its impacts. The information that is integrated into the NCA can then be used The USGCRP released previous versions of the assessment in 2000 and 2009.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program is accepting comments for its draft report, which it will incorporate as it prepares the final version. ASP submitted a public comment praising the work being done to advance climate science and public knowledge of the threats of climate change. Below is the comment submitted by ASP:

ASP is encouraged by the draft climate report released by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC). We commend the NCADAC for releasing this timely report, which confirms that climate change presents national security threats to the United States. Rising sea levels, drought, severe storms, excessive precipitation, and changing temperatures threaten our infrastructure and economic output.

The report presents some scary statistics to strengthen its case. U.S. average temperatures have increased 1.5°F since 1895, with more than of 80% of the increase coming after 1980. Global sea level is 8 inches higher than it was in 1880 and is projected to rise by 1 to 4 feet by 2100. Ice volume is quickly decreasing; 2012 set a record for minimum area of Arctic ice. In some places, heat waves, floods, and droughts are expected to increase in ferocity and frequency; meanwhile, hurricanes overall have become stronger and the amount of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has gone up in the North Atlantic since 1980.

The report recommends a three-tiered approach to this: the reduction of emissions, adaption, and preparation. These three strategies will allow us to avoid the worst effects and mitigate the realities of the climate change threat. We believe climate change is a serious national security threat and the issues in the NCADAC’s report highlight the need to find long-term solutions.

To see the full National Climate Assessment draft report, click here.

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