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Title: U.S. Global change research program: Climate science special report (CSSR)
Contributors: Wuebbles, Donald
Keywords: Climate change
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.?
Description: This report is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment (mandated by Congress every four years), described by one of the team of government scientists who compiled it as "the most comprehensive climate science reports" to be produced. The report is a DRAFT, and is marked "Do not cite, quote, or distribute" because the Trump Administration has yet to approve its release. However, the New York Times leaked this version to the public because its authors expressed concern that the Administration would attempt to suppress it because of the immediate and dire conclusions it contains, and its apparent direct contradiction of the Administration's political stance on human-generated climate change. (See August 8, 2017 Times article: From the executive summary: "New observations and new research have increased scientists’ understanding of past, current,and future climate change since the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA3) was published in May 2014. This Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) is designed to capture that new information, build on the existing body of science, and summarize the current state of knowledge. Predicting how climate will change in future decades is a different scientific issue from predicting weather a few weeks from now. Weather is what is happening in the atmosphere in a given location at a particular time—temperature, humidity, winds, clouds, and precipitation. Climate consists of the patterns exhibited by the weather—the averages and extremes of the indicated weather phenomena and how those averages and extremes vary from month to month over the course of a typical year—as observed over a period of decades. One can sensibly speak of the climate of a specific location (for example, Chicago) or a region (for example, the Midwest). Climate change means that these weather patterns—the averages and extremes and their timing—are shifting in consistent directions from decade to decade. The world has warmed (globally and annually averaged surface air temperature) by about 1.6°F (0.9°C) over the last 150 years (1865–2015), and the spatial and temporal non- uniformity of the warming has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate. Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Thousands of studies conducted by tens of thousands of scientists around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea level; and an increase in atmospheric water vapor. Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate changes. The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related, weather extremes, as well as the warmest years on record for the globe. Periodically taking stock of the current state of knowledge about climate change and putting new weather extremes into context ensures that rigorous, scientifically based information is available to inform dialogue and decisions at every level. Most of this special report is intended for those who have a technical background in climate science and is also designed to provide input to the authors of the Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA4). In this executive summary, green boxes present highlights of the main report followed by related bullet points and selected figures covering more scientific details. The summary material on each topic presents the most salient points of chapter findings and therefore represents only a subset of the report contents. For more details, the reader is referred to the content of individual chapters. This report discusses climate trends and findings at several scales: global, nationwide for the United States, and according to ten specific U.S. regions (shown in Figure 1 in the Guide to the Report). A statement of scientific confidence also follows each bullet in the executive summary..."
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