The University of Arizona

Background - National Climate Assessment | CLIMAS

    Join Mail List

Background - National Climate Assessment

This project was part of the US National Climate Assessment (Assessment) coordinated by the US Global Climate Research Program.

The Assessment’s purpose was to synthesize, evaluate, and report on what we presently know about the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the US in the 21st century. It sought to identify key climatic vulnerabilities of particular regions and sectors, in the context of other changes in the nation’s environment, resources, and economy. It also sought to identify potential measures to adapt to climate variability and change. Finally, because present knowledge is limited, the Assessment sought to identify the highest priority uncertainties about which we must know more to understand climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and our ability to adapt.

This project was part of a more comprehensive assessment led by CLIMAS that includes: “Assessing Regional Climate Service Through Cooperative Extension”, “Poverty and Climate Change in the Southwestern U.S.”, and “Climate Mitigation and Agriculture—Public Policy Education”.

These projects sought to build upon CLIMAS’s well established network of stakeholders and collaborators to: 1) broaden the scope of our existing work into new domains (e.g., urban poor populations), emerging challenges (e.g., impact of mitigation policies on agriculture in the Southwest), and underrepresented parts of our region (e.g., the Rio Grande river basin); 2) make critical linkages amongst ongoing adaptation efforts across the region, and 3) expand the reach of CLIMAS’s network (e.g., by directly engaging the Cooperative Extension service on climate adaptation needs and capacity). Collectively, these projects contributed tangible inputs to the US National Climate Assessment effort (e.g., new analyses of climate vulnerabilities and implications of mitigation policies, catalogs of ongoing and planned regional adaptation and mitigation efforts, and locally focused understanding of adaptation and mitigation needs and capacity). In addition to these product-based inputs, these projects also helped develop critical knowledge network infrastructure in support of the explicit desire for this National Climate Assessment effort to build a robust and enduring process.