James Waller, Ph.D., Research Meteorologist
The White House released the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment report on May 6, 2014. The report was constructed with input of many U.S. scientists and coordinated by a cross section of U.S. interests including the energy sector.
After a very quick review of the physical findings, the report appears to be reliable and consistent with findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Source articles are from reputable scientific journals and do not deviate from scientific consensus on the issues. Many of these climate change impacts were discussed in Guy Carpenter’s climate change report released in 2013 (click here to read the Guy Carpenter report).
A notable finding of the National Climate Assessment report is more concrete evidence of the acceleration of extreme heat events, drought events, intense rainfall events and accelerated decline of Arctic sea ice.
Implications for U.S. interests (both personal and commercial) are addressed with emphasis on the impact of climate change on agricultural interests, the increased threat to coastal interests, the effects on forest stock and the increasing severity of water resource management issues. The study does not indicate a trend in tornado or hail frequency, but notes hurricane frequency and intensity increasing, without attribution to global warming. It should be noted that only one season since 2005 has shown above-average U.S. landfalls.
An excerpt from the National Climate Assessment report: “There has been a sizable upward trend in the number of storms causing large financial and other losses. However, there are societal contributions to this trend, such as increases in population and wealth.”