Newsletter: April 2015
In this issue...
- Special announcement: draft Climate and Health Assessment available for public review
- What’s on GlobalChange.gov? Climate FAQs.
- WATCH: "From climate risk to climate solutions" (IPCC Working Group II)
- New executive order: planning for sustainability in the Federal Government
- Get involved: NCAnet activities and new affinity groups
- Recent events
- U.S. Climate Modeling Summit
- Session on the National Climate Assessment at AAAS 2015
- Upcoming events
- Climate Change and Human Health Symposium at George Washington University
From the newsfeed...
- Climate data and tools to protect public health
- Preparing for floods with satellite data: SERVIR in Bangladesh
- Land use and land cover: toward scenarios of change (new workshop report)
- USGCRP and partners honored for DC-area climate resilience project
Public comments are now being solicited for the draft version of The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. This draft assessment report was developed by USGCRP’s Interagency Group on Climate Change and Human Health as part of the sustained National Climate Assessment and as called for under the President’s Climate Action Plan.
Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways. The draft report synthesizes the available scientific literature to assess observed and projected impacts of climate change on human health in the United States, with a particular focus on where impacts can be quantified. Once finalized, the assessment is intended to inform public health officials, urban planners, and others who are interested in better understanding the health hazards presented by climate change.
More information about the assessment, access to the draft, and instructions for submitting comments are available at http://www.globalchange.gov/health-assessment. All comments must be submitted by 12:00pm ET on Monday, June 8, 2015. Publication of the final assessment report is expected in spring 2016.
If you have questions about climate change and climate science—or if you often field such questions—this new web resource will be valuable for you. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from the 2014 National Climate Assessment, previously available only as a PDF, now can be explored interactively as part of the website. Each individual FAQ is shareable and many are accompanied by graphics (like the one at right). Some example FAQs include:
- How can we predict what climate will be like in 100 years if we can’t even predict the weather next week?
- How do we know that human activities are the primary cause of recent climate change?
- Does climate change affect severe weather?
- Can we reverse global warming?
- See all FAQs
In addition to the FAQs, the Climate Science Supplement to the National Climate Assessment is also now available as part of the website. Each of the supplemental science messages is shareable, similar to the Key Messages in the main report.
Climate change poses risks for people, ecosystems, and economies. Many possible climate solutions can reduce and manage these risks, while building a more sustainable world. A new animated video (3.5 minutes) introduces these core themes from the Working Group II contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. The video was produced by the Working Group II Technical Support Unit, which is hosted and funded by USGCRP.
President Obama issued an executive order in March that will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent over the next decade, relative to 2008 levels. Complementing this effort, several major Federal suppliers announced plans to cut their emissions, and the Administration released a scorecard to track suppliers’ progress.
The National Climate Assessment Network (NCAnet) has grown to over 150 participating organizations and continues to accept new members. Since the release of the 2014 National Climate Assessment last spring, NCAnet participants have been connecting their members and stakeholders to climate information and creating resources and hosting events that draw on the Assessment findings. NCAnet meets every other month to discuss activities and to share information and lessons learned. Smaller affinity groups meet regularly to discuss topics of interest to different segments of the NCAnet community. Two new affinity groups began meeting recently, focused respectively on Climate Projections and Valuation and Risk Management. For more information about NCAnet, visit the NCAnet website or contact Emily Cloyd.
U.S. Climate Modeling Summit
In February, USGCRP convened the first annual U.S. Climate Modeling Summit to bring together scientists from the Nation’s premiere centers for experimental climate modeling and operational climate forecasting.
The Summit helped to build a shared understanding of the distinct and complementary goals, strategies, and capabilities of each center. Participants identified opportunities for better coordination among centers and considered potential outreach opportunities to enhance the understandability and usability of climate model output. A report from the Summit on planned collaboration areas is expected this spring. The Summit will continue to meet formally each year, with ongoing coordination to advance shared objectives and to accelerate the translation of knowledge and capabilities from research to operations.
Session on the National Climate Assessment at AAAS 2015
A session at February’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) focused on the 2014 National Climate Assessment as a resource for climate literacy and decision making. The session began with panelist presentations on capacity-building around the Assessment, its use in decisional contexts, climate indicators to support the sustained assessment process, and related educational products. The talks were followed by a question-and-answer session and an open discussion with the audience, summarized here.
Climate Change and Human Health Symposium at George Washington University
The George Washington University’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, in partnership with USGCRP, will host a public symposium to discuss the draft USGCRP Climate and Health Assessment. The Symposium will take place on April 24, 9:00 am –12:00 pm, at the Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, DC (a live webcast will be available). Report authors and USGCRP staff will talk about the effects of climate change on health in the United States. Attendees will also learn about the production of the draft report and how the public can contribute to its review. Registration is required for in-person or remote attendance.
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