Key Idea Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today. The amount and rate of future climate change depends primarily on current and future human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases and airborne particles. Responses involve reducing emissions to limit future warming, and adapting to the changes that are unavoidable.
Human-induced climate change is happening now, and impacts are already apparent. Greater impacts are projected, particularly if heat-trapping gas emissions continue unabated. Previous assessments have established these facts, and this report confirms, solidifies, and extends these conclusions for the United States. It reports the latest understanding of how climate change is already affecting important sectors and regions. In particular, it reports that some climate change impacts appear to be increasing faster than previous assessments had suggested.
Choices about emissions now and in the coming years will have far-reaching consequences for climate change impacts. A consistent finding of this assessment is that the rate and magnitude of future climate change and resulting impacts depend critically on the level of global atmospheric heat-trapping gas concentrations. Lower emissions of heat-trapping gases will delay the appearance of climate change impacts and lessen their magnitude. Unless the rate of emissions is substantially reduced, impacts are expected to become increasingly severe for more people and places.
- Vetting Authority:
- Art Sussman
- Climate Impacts, Life Affects Climate, Global Climate, How can communities reduce the extent of climate change?
- Grade Levels:
- Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, College
- Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States: Highlights
- This 20-page fully illustrated booklet highlights the major findings in the full report entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States." The full report and this booklet are scientific reports written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels. The report was prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). It was officially transmitted to the U.S. Congress and the President of the USA. Many U.S. federal agencies were involved including Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution.
- Resource Type:
- Overview/Summary Document
- Publication Date:
- Grade Levels:
- Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, College
- Climate Impacts, Home and National Security, Fresh Water and Food Security, Ecosystems and Biodiversity Impacts, Public Health, Economic Impacts
- Found on Page:
Found on PagePage of resource that this key idea originates on. Note this is the page number printed on the actual page not the sequential page number.