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Webinar: Climate Science Series, Seminar 8: The Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment: An Overview of Volume 1

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018, 12:00

Tuesday, August 28, 2018. 12:00PM. Webinar: Climate Science Series, Seminar 8: The Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment: An Overview of Volume 1. Donald J. Wuebbles, University of Illinois. Sponsored by NOAA. More information here.


New observations and new research have increased our understanding of past, current, and future climate change. The Fourth National Climate Assessment confirms prior assessments in concluding that the climate on our planet, including the United States, is changing, and changing rapidly. Observational evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Documented changes include surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; and rising sea level. Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Changes in the characteristics of extreme events are particularly important for human safety, infrastructure, agriculture, water quality and quantity, and natural ecosystems. Some extremes have already become more frequent, intense, or of longer duration, and many extremes are expected to continue to increase or worsen, presenting substantial challenges. Heatwaves have become more frequent in the United States since the 1960s, while extreme cold temperatures and cold waves have become less frequent. Heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency across the United States and globally. These and other trends in severe weather are expected to continue. The Earth’s climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. As a result, global average sea levels are expected to continue to rise. This presentation provides an overview of the findings from the new assessment, with a special focus on severe weather.

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