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Climate Scientist Contributes to White House Report

Katharine Hayhoe: Choices we make now will determine severity of climate change's future impact.

Written by John Davis



Climate change is visible and occurring throughout the U.S., but the choices we make now will determine the severity of its impacts in the future, according to a Texas Tech University climate scientist who served as a lead author on a report released today by the White House.

Katharine Hayhoe, director of Texas Tech’s Climate Science Center who was recently listed on the 2014 TIME 100 most influential people in the world, was one of 300 authors from private, public and academic sectors to contribute to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3). The project is a product of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a consortium of 13 federal departments and agencies overseen by a 60-member federal advisory committee.

Experts view the study as the most comprehensive plain-language to date on what climate change means for the United States. It features 30 chapters and two appendices covering topics including eight U.S. regions, forestry, agriculture and human health.

The report confirms that climate change is affecting every region of the country and key sectors of the U.S. economy and society, underscoring the need to combat the threats climate change presents and increase the preparedness and resilience of American communities.

“Climate change is no longer a future issue,” Hayhoe said. “We are experiencing its impacts today. In the Great Plains, rising temperatures are already increasing demand for water. Future increases in temperature and shifts in precipitation patterns will constrain development, stress our natural resources, and increase competition for water among communities, agriculture, energy production, and ecological needs.. For the U.S. as a whole, climate change will affect our lives through its impacts on our health, our water resources, our food, our natural environment and our economy.”

“…climate change will affect our lives through its impacts on our health, our water resources, our food, our natural environment and our economy.” – Katharine Hayhoe

Hayhoe served as lead author on the Climate Science Chapter, the Climate Science Appendix and the Commonly Asked Questions Appendix. These discuss how climate is changing, why it’s happening and how it affects the United States. She also developed the high-resolution climate projections used in many of the regional and sectoral chapters.

“This report is intended to start conversations around the country about how we can best adapt to coming changes and what we might do to mitigate the worst of the impacts,” Hayhoe said.

Emily Therese Cloyd, public participation and engagement coordinator for the NCA3 said the report is envisioned as an ongoing process that will continue to deliver new, relevant science and information about climate change science, impacts and responses.

“The Third National Climate Assessment report is one part of that process,” she said. “The Global Change Information System is an online resource which houses the NCA3 and will be updated with future National Climate Assessment reports and data.”

The NCA3 is available to download and can be explored interactively through the newly redeployed website. In this mobile-compatible site, every piece of the report is shareable, including graphics, key messages, regional highlights, full chapters, and more. The new site features accessible and dynamic information, topical call-outs, resources, and news about global change and related Federal research and engagement efforts.

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5 Responses to “Climate Scientist Contributes to White House Report”

  1. The world's most important geochemistry conference is coming to Sacramento | Israel Foreign Affairs Says:

    […] if you’re part of the media in Sacramento, especially if you write about climate change, science, energy, geochemistry. Related topics, you’ll want to hear about what new […]

  2. Margie Ceja Says:

    I saw you on TV last night. I do appreciate you educating the public about climate change. Even though it was for a few short minutes I’m sure the viewership learned something. Lubbock needs experts in this field willing to speak out about climate change and the ways we can help slow down the process.

  3. Bob Laughlin Says:

    I question if humans can “slow down” climate change. We know the Earth has been warming for 20,000 years with the associated melting of the polar ice caps, long before human activity could have any effect. We have also noted from deep ice cores that atmospheric carbon dioxide has been higher than it is today.Is carbon dioxide a cause or a result of heating? Oceans have been higher than today. Many scientist have written and given papers that disagree with the concept of human induced climate change. These facts are overwhelmed by political driven concerns. Is there any evidence that all of the efforts by the U.S. would change the warming of the Earth?

    W.R.Laughlin M.D.
    Class of 1957
    Class vice president

  4. Robert B Cammack Says:

    I hope Tech will not take a position that climate change is man made. This is a theory that cannot be proven. To take actions such as reducing the fossil fuel production can only lead to widespread lowering of the quality of life for all people on this planet

  5. Ron Williams Says:

    I’m with Robert.
    The climate has ALWAYS been changing. I’m not sure why this is now “news” but I am sure that the more TTU publishes a so called fact of man being the “new” determining factor in the climate changing is a sure fire way to limit my giving to Texas Tech University.

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