Third National Climate Assessment Released: What Climate Change Means for Florida

The U.S. Global Change Research Program has released the Third National Climate Assessment, the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever on climate change and its impacts across all regions in the United States and significant sectors of the American economy.

Florida is grouped under the U.S. Southeast and Caribbean Region in the National Climate Assessment and faces unique challenges in regards to climate change. Some of the findings relevant to Florida and the Southeast region:

  • Sea Level Rise: “Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to both natural and built environments and to the regional economy.” (NCA, Ch. 17: Southeast)
  • Flooding: “There is an imminent threat of increased inland flooding during heavy rain events in low-lying coastal areas such as southeast Florida, where just inches of sea level rise will impair the capacity of stormwater drainage systems to empty into the ocean.” (NCA, Ch. 17: Southeast)
  • Health: “Increasing temperatures and the associated increase in frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat events will affect public health, natural and built environments, energy, agriculture, and forestry.” (NCA, Ch. 17: Southeast)
  • Tourism: “…some of Florida’s top tourist attractions, including the Everglades and Florida Keys, are threatened by sea level rise, with estimated revenue losses of $9 billion by 2025 and $40 billion by the 2050s.” (NCA, Ch. 14: Rural Communities)

For more information related to the National Climate Assessment’s findings on Florida and the rest of the U.S. Southeast and Caribbean Region, you can view this fact sheet issued from The White House here:

You can also view the National Climate Assessment’s highlights and full report here:

The Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent science and advocacy group, is hosting a webinar series featuring presentations from lead authors of the National Climate Assessment. The Southeast and Caribbean Region webinar is on May 27th; sign up here:

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