Media Advisory: WSU scientists available to discuss new National Climate Assessment

WSU climate scientists speak on challenges and adaptations facing US and Northwest in new 5th National Climate Assessment

What: Washington State University climate scientists Deepti Singh and Kirti Rajagopalan will be available for interviews about the newly released 5th National Climate Assessment (NCA5).

When: Tuesday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 17, 2023

Details: Singh and Rajagopalan are part of a large team of researchers at WSU, Oregon State University, Cascadia Consulting Group, and other institutions around the nation contributing to the 5th National Climate Assessment (NCA5). Rajagopalan was an author on the Northwest chapter, and Singh was an author on the Climate Trends chapter and lead author on the Compound Events cross-cutting chapter.

Aimed at decision makers and the public, NCA5 analyzes the effects of global climate change on the environment, agriculture, energy use, human health, ecosystems, and other systems across the U.S. The assessment is part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s mandate to deliver a report to Congress and the President every four years and is developed with input from more than 400 climate experts from governments, Tribes and Indigenous communities, universities, NGOs, and the private sector.

Northwest Chapter key takeaways:

  • Frontline communities are overburdened by the consequences of climate change
  • Ecosystems are changing in response to extreme events and human activity
  • Climate change amplifies health inequities and affects heritage and sense of place
  • Impacts to regional economies have cascading effects on livelihoods and wellbeing
  • Infrastructure is being stressed by climate change, but can also enable adaptation

Climate Trends and Compound Events highlights:

  • Stronger evidence that human activities are changing the climate, and changes are not the same everywhere. For example, Western states are warming up faster than the East
  • Some extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe in different parts of U.S., such as heatwaves, droughts, wildfires and heavy rains
  • Compound events – back-to-back or simultaneous extremes – are also happening nationally; examples in the PNW: cascading effects of 2020 wildfire season followed by drought and extreme heat in 2021  
  • Climate risks experienced today will increase with warming. We need to adapt to changing conditions to reduce continued harms to our health, livelihoods, food and resources, and we know what we need to do to reduce global warming.

Singh and Rajagopalan can speak to their work on the NCA5.

The National Climate Change Assessment is available at: nca2023.globalchange.gov
Northwest chapter:  nca2023.globalchange.gov/chapter/27
Compound Events Chapter: nca2023.globalchange.gov/chapter/focus-on-1
Climate Trends Chapter: nca2023.globalchange.gov/chapter/2

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