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Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States


This report summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the U.S. and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health. It’s also a report written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.
Regional impacts of climate change in the U.S. are provided for the following regions:
• Alaska;
• Islands;
• Coasts;
• Southwest;
• Northwest;
• Great Plains;
• Midwest;
• Southeast; and
• Northeast.
Some Key findings of this report include:
• Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow. Climate-related changes are already observed in the United States and its coastal waters. These include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. These changes are projected to grow.
• Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged. Agriculture is considered one of the sectors most adaptable to changes in climate. However, increased heat, pests, water stress, diseases, and weather extremes will pose adaptation challenges for crop and livestock production.
• Threats to human health will increase. Health impacts of climate change are related to heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents. Robust public health infrastructure can reduce the potential for negative impacts.


Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

All-Hazards, Climate, Data, Health Promotion and Health Education, Natural Disaster


Institutional Author:

U.S. Global Change Research Program





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.

Five most recent user comments

2 Stars of 5 - Somewhat Useful
By Linda Tindall

5 Stars of 5 - Extremely Useful
Rating March 2014
By Kathleen Karle
Extensive, well-documented report containing findings of 2009 National Climate Assessment. Written in plain language for all to understand. While report is excellent, it should be replaced when 2013 assessment becomes available.