TJ2.6 Highlighting the Outcomes of a Risk-Based Assessment of the Impacts of a Changing Climate across the Regions of the United States

Monday, 7 January 2019: 3:15 PM
North 226C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Lesley-Ann L. Dupigny-Giroux, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

As part of its Congressional mandate, the National Climate Assessment is required to analyze the effects of climate change on a number of topics, including agriculture, ecosystems, and human health. To better prepare the Nation to respond to these changes, there is a need to understand how a variety of climate change impacts are being experienced in different parts of the country, as well as how regional stakeholders are beginning to respond to the risks posed to society by those impacts. In Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), greater emphasis has been placed on assessing the risks posed by a changing climate to the peoples, resources, and livelihoods throughout the 10 regions of the U.S. and its territories than in previous assessments.

This pivot from a focus on climate impacts to societal risks responds to the need for decision making at local to regional scales. A focus on regional perspectives allowed both the unique challenges and risks within regions to be highlighted, while creating threads and linkages to other regions facing similar challenges and risks. This intra- and inter-regional cross-cut was also echoed in the issues and risks faced by international interests. In order to better characterize the locality of the risks of a changing climate, new chapters have been added and/or regions subdivided, including a standalone chapter focused on the U.S. Caribbean region. Finally, advances in climate science since NCA3 (2014) are complemented by highlighting case studies of adaptation success stories, particular vulnerabilities, and unique risks faced across the Nation.

This presentation will give an overview of the regional chapter development and stakeholder engagement process, present select findings from the 10 regional chapters, and highlight the relationships between the regional findings and some of the cross-cutting themes that NCA4 Vol. II addresses.

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