The U.S. Global Change Research Program has released a full report on the National Climate Assessment, “Our Changing Climate.” It provides and in-depth look at climate change impacts on the U.S. The full report, found on www.globalchange.gov, can be reviewed by looking at specific regions or exploring different affected sectors.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is keen to follow the results for the Southeast and Caribbean regions. Three key messages are of importance:

  • Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to both natural and built environments which in turn risks the regional economy;
  • Increasing temperatures are associated with the increase in frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat events. These will affect public health, natural and built environments, energy, agriculture, and forestry;
  • Decreased water availability, exacerbated by population growth and land-use change, will continue to increase the region’s competition for water. This in turn will affect economy and unique ecosystems.

Climate change is often associated with global warming and sea level rise. It is important to note that climate change more aptly addresses a vast array of issues and indicators. These include but are not limited to: water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests, ecosystems, human health, indigenous peoples, rural communities, and biogeochemical cycles.

As the Gulf of Mexico Alliance enters its next development phase, these threats will be factored into regional collaborative planning. Already, Priority Issue Teams address sea level rise, fresh water inflow, and ecosystem services. To participate in this process engage one of the teams.