Key Idea Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow. Changes observed in U.S. include temperature rise, sea-level rise, increase in heavy downpours, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, longer growing seasons, longer ice-free season in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and changes in river flows.
One of the most striking changes in climate observed over the United States has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy downpours. This increase was responsible for most of the observed increase in overall precipitation during the last 50 years. The amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest 1% of rain events increased nearly 20 percent.

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