Today the U.S. government released the fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), the latest government and scientist-led look into our climate reality.

The report is one of the main tasks of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), set in motion by climate change research mandates of the 1990 Global Change Research Act. The White House describes the most recent version – and the accompanying interactive website, podcast, brand new mapping tool, and first-of-its-kind online art exhibit — as the authoritative and definitive assessment on how the country is doing to address climate change.

In stark contrast to the Trump administration's quiet rollout of the fourth National Climate Assessment in 2018, the Biden administration is inviting the world to see just how far the country's come, and the very long road it has ahead. The report is a deep, information-rich survey of the status of climate science, the warming world's human impact, and the systems and tools at use to address the country's role in facilitating and addressing climate change. It's also an outline for the types of mass investments needed to build a sustainable future.

It's an onslaught of information that reiterates long standing scientific claims, like the inevitable degradation of marine ecosystems, rising sea levels, and the fact that while the U.S. has successfully reduced a lot of its CO2 emissions, it's still responsible for a large chunk of Earth's warming — with a "Net Zero emissions" reality far away.

But the report also provides information that hasn't been the main focus of similar U.S. climate reporting in the past, including expert thoughts on racial and environmental justice, Indigenous climate solutions, and climate change's mental health effects.

"While there are still uncertainties about how the planet will react to rapid warming and catastrophic future scenarios that cannot be ruled out," the report reads, "the future is largely in human hands."

  1. 2022 set a record for extreme weather events affecting Americans
  2. Black communities will bear the brunt of flooding disasters
  3. Addressing climate change is a pressing health issue 
  4. Indigenous self-determination is linked to climate change
  5. Climate justice is possible

Read the full article about national climate assessment by Chase DiBenedetto at Mashable.