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Fifth National Climate Assessment - Read the Report

Fifth National Climate Assessment

Two volunteers help demonstrate and install solar panels in Highland Park, Michigan, in May 2021. The event was hosted by the local nonprofit Soulardarity, which teaches local residents about solar power, installs solar-powered streetlights that also provide wireless internet access, and helps local communities build a just and equitable energy system. Adopting energy storage with decentralized solutions, such as microgrids or off-grid systems, can promote energy equity in overburdened communities.

The Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) analyzes the impacts of climate and global change in the United States.

The development of NCA5 was overseen by a Federal Steering Committee appointed by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) and comprising representatives from USGCRP agencies. NOAA, as the administrative agency for NCA5, is responsible for establishing procedures for the report, releasing Federal Register Notices, and certifying the report meets Information Quality Act and Evidence Act standards. 

The process is designed to be transparent and inclusive, offering multiple opportunities for public participation. As in previous assessments, NCA5 underwent an extensive, multi-phase process of internal and external review from federal agency experts, the general public, and external peer review by a panel of experts established by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This approach is designed to result in a report that is authoritative, timely, relevant, and policy neutral; valued by authors and users; accessible to the widest possible audience; and fully compliant with the GCRA and other applicable laws and policies.

NCA5 assesses current and future risks posed by climate change to each of NCA’s 10 regions, illustrated below.

 

 A map shows the 10 regions of the United States used in the National Climate Assessment. These are Alaska, Hawai‘i and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands, the US Caribbean, Northwest, Southwest, Northern Great Plains, Southern Great Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Shading around Hawai‘i and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands indicates the exclusive economic zones around those islands. Orange shading indicates Federally Recognized Tribal Land.

 

Register here for the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) chapter webinars, taking place through mid-March 2024.

The NCA5 chapter webinars are an opportunity for you to hear about the findings of each chapter from the authors themselves. Each virtual one-hour event is expected to include some time for Q&A. 

Webinar recordings are available on USGCRP's YouTube channel

If you have any questions regarding a past or future webinar, please contact us. If you are interested in learning about other opportunities related to the NCA5, please subscribe to USGCRP's newsletter.

Cover image for the NCA5 companion podcast

The NCA5 Companion Podcast is a limited series that introduces the report, showcases the perspectives of NCA5 authors and staff, and demonstrates how the Assessment can help inform decisions.

The podcast series is also available on all popular streaming platforms.

Episodes

Credits

Producers: Chris Avery, Allison Crimmins
Host: Allison Crimmins
Editing, Mixing, and Scoring: Mallory Hinks
Additional support: Allyza Lustig, Laurie Howell, Aaron Grade, and Michael Kuperberg
Music: AudioCoffee
Cover image: Chris Avery
Financial support: NSF

This podcast is produced by the US Global Change Research Program. The perspectives shared by the participants do not represent official positions of the United States Government. All rights reserved. 

USGCRP recognizes that a robust public engagement strategy is vital to developing a National Climate Assessment that is relevant to its users. The Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) development process is designed to be transparent and inclusive, offering multiple opportunities for public participation. As in previous assessments, NCA5 offered public calls for authors and for input on other key aspects of its development. In addition, NCA5 underwent an extensive, multi-phase review process that engaged the public. This approach is designed to result in a report that is transparent, inclusive, and authoritative; valued by authors and users; and accessible to the widest possible audience. 

Recent Opportunities

USGCRP conducted a series of workshops from January - December 2022 to inform development of the Fifth National Climate Assessment. The dates of these workshops and agendas may be found below.

January 2022

  • Social Systems and Justice (previously titled Human Social Systems)
    January 11, 12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity
    January 11, 12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Energy Supply, Delivery, and Demand
    January 12, 12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Alaska
    January 12, 8:30 AM –1 PM AKST
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Built Environment, Urban Systems, and Cities
    January 14 ,12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Northeast
    January 18, 9 AM–12 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems
    January 18, 12 PM–2 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Land Cover and Land-Use Change 
    January 18, 11 AM–3 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Air Quality 
    January 18, 11 AM–3 PM ET
    PDF | Agenda

  • Tribes and Indigenous Peoples 
    January 18, 12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • U.S. Caribbean
    January 19, 11 AM–3:30 PM AST
    Flyer | Anuncio | Agenda

  • Midwest 
    January 24,  9 AM–1:30 PM CT
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Northern Great Plains 
    January 24, 12 PM–3:10 PM MT
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Hawaiʻi & U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands 
    January 24, 12 PM–4:30 PM HST
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Oceans and Marine Resources
    January 25, 1 PM–5 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Coastal Effects
    January 26,  12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Agriculture, Food Systems, and Rural Communities
    January 28, 1 PM–5 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Economics
    January 31, 12 PM–4 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

  • Southeast
    January 31, 6:30 PM–8:30 PM ET
    Flyer | Agenda

February 2022

November/December 2022

  • Third Order Draft Public Webinar #1
    November 29, 2022, 12–1 PM ET

  • Third Order Draft Public Webinar #1
    December 1, 2022, 5–6 PM ET

  1. February 2020

    Federal Steering Committee established

  2. Spring/Summer 2020

    Public call for comment on draft prospectus; public call for nominations for Chapter Leads, Chapter Authors, and Technical Contributors, and call for scientific/technical inputs

  3. Spring 2021

    Coordinating Lead Authors and Chapter Leads selected

  4. Summer 2021

    Chapter Authors selected

  5. Fall/Winter 2021

    Interagency review of chapter outlines

  6. Early 2022

    Public engagement; public call for Review Editor nominations

  7. Spring 2022

    First draft developed

  8. Summer 2022

    Agency review; Review Editors selected

  9. Fall 2022

    Public and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reviews of draft

  10. Spring 2023

    Authors revise draft in response to reviews

  11. Summer 2023

    Final revisions and final agency reviews

  12. Fall 2023

    Finalization

  13. November 2023

    Publication

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (GCRA) to coordinate “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” USGCRP comprises 15 federal agencies that conduct or use research on global change and its impacts on society.

The GCRA mandates that USGCRP deliver a quadrennial assessment, which has become known as the National Climate Assessment (NCA). The NCA is required to a) integrate, evaluate, and interpret the findings of the Program and discuss the scientific uncertainties associated with such findings; b) analyze the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and c) analyze current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and project major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.

To date, five NCAs have been released. The first NCA was published in 2000, and the second was published in 2009. The third NCA, Climate Change Impacts in the United States, was published in 2014. The fourth NCA (NCA4) was delivered in two volumes, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) and Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States. It was completed in 2018. The fifth NCA (NCA5) was released in November 2023.

Volume I of NCA4, the CSSR, was a comprehensive update on the state of the science of climate change and its impacts. It was not intended to be a regular part of the NCA development process.

NCA5 draws heavily on the CSSR and, similar to previous NCAs, includes chapters that focus on the state of the science of climate and global change, responding fully to the GCRA mandate.

Consistent with common practice for USGCRP assessment products, NCA5 is a technical scientific assessment. It does not make policy recommendations or evaluate existing or proposed policies.

NCA5 was released in November 2023.