Forest Advocate: U.S. Releases Fifth National Climate Assessment

Matt Leahy | November 27, 2023
Frozen waters on the floodplain.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) recently released the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5).  Approximately every four years, the USGCRP produces this congressionally mandated assessment of global change science and the impacts, adaptation, and mitigation of climate change in the United States. 

The NCA5 provides several important conclusions:

  • Greenhouse gas levels are “higher than at any time in at least the past 800,000 years.”
  • The overall global temperature "has increased faster in the past 50 years than at any time in at least the past 2,000 years.”
  • The United States has reduced greenhouse gas emissions but not enough to stop or reverse climate change. In fact, NCA5 finds the U.S. overall is warming faster than the global average.
  • "All U.S. regions are already experiencing increasingly harmful impacts." In the Northeast, the report says that extreme precipitation events have increased by about 60%. That is the largest increase in the country.
  • Climate change will continue to have "profound negative effects on human health." Lower income communities and regions will experience these health impacts the most as this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services highlights. 
  • The U.S. is adapting to climate change, but must increase its investments to reduce the risks.

To read the full NCA5 report, click here.