American climate change impacts report

2008-05-30

in Economics, Law, Politics, Science, The environment

Because of a 2006 lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, a judge in Oakland California ordered the release of the Climate Change Science Programs (CCSP) assessment of climate change impacts in the United States. In total, the public release of the report was delayed for three years. The report – Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States – is now available online. It is not unlike the impacts report previously released by Natural Resources Canada.

None of the contents of the CCSP report will be surprising to those who have been paying attention to what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been releasing. Indeed, that is not surprising. The IPCC is looking at the same scientific evidence when they reach their judgments. One thing that would have been helpful would have been a more comprehensive effort to estimate the total economic damages associated with different plausible levels of climate change. It is information of that kind that seems most salient to those making hard choices about what actions to take.

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