With the Obama administration, climate change issues in the government are getting increasingly ‘hot’, as you might have noticed this Tuesday June 16th when the report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States was released. The aforementioned report is the most comprehensive and authoritative one ever released by government agencies, which explains in plain language the science behind the current & future impacts of climate change in our country.
To draw even more attention to this important information (and also the urgency of climate change issues) the administration has launched a glossy and very user-friendly new website www.globalchange.gov where you can find out what is happening (and will happen) to YOUR region because of climate change. All the climate research is at your fingertips, where you can access multidisciplinary data from atmospheric science, ecology, oceanography, economics and sociology and actually be able to digest it without sweating!
This website is a great initiative, since it enhances the scientist-stakeholder interaction. And to quote from Dr. Jane Lubchenco, we are all stakeholders:
All of the foot-dragging we’ve seen stems from the perception that climate change is a problem that is down the road, that it will happen sometime in the future, that the problem is remote. The report states unequivocally that climate change is happening now, and in our own backyards. It affects things people care about. The report is good science, science that informs policy. The science does not dictate policy. We must act sooner than later.This online gateway to global climate change data and information is a portal made up of several government agencies whose work is related to climate change. Some of the highlights of website include:
- Interactive map which portrays how climate change is affecting YOUR region, presenting all the issues that you care about. You can download all the graphs and images in high-resolution.
- Impacts by sector and sectoral climate information – water resources, energy supply and use, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, human health, society.
- Abrupt climate change risks, emission scenarios and adaptation options with which you can have a glimpse into the future.
- Updated news and reports from the agencies dealing with climate change including primers such as Climate Literacy: "The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences".
- Resources and tool-kits for media and educators.
- Impressive images of our changing planet!
- And of course the Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States report broken down into digestible bites with key findings, summaries, graphs and factsheets.