Summary of Remarks: "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” the recent assessment report prepared under the auspices of the US Global Change Research Program, has been designed to help US decision makers prepare for and adapt to recent and projected changes in climate and the impacts that are occurring and will result. Because the US is already experiencing and committed to significant changes in climate, undesirable impacts are inevitable and adaptation will be necessary. This talk will summarize the range of current and projected climate-change impacts on environmental and societal systems identified in the report, thereby starting to build a national foundation for guiding response preparation and developing effective mitigation and adaptation policies.
Michael MacCracken is Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute in Washington DC, where his focus has been on proactive approaches for moderating climate change and its impacts. After a B.S.E from Princeton and Ph.D. from the University of California Davis, Mike began his career in 1968 as an atmospheric physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where his research focused primarily on the causes of climate change and the climatic effects of greenhouse gases, volcanic aerosols, land-cover change, and nuclear war. After serving as the division leader for atmospheric and geophysical sciences from1987-1993, he accepted an assignment to serve as senior global change scientist for the newly formed interagency Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), serving as the Office’s first executive director from 1993-1997 and then as executive director of USGCRP’s National Assessment Coordination Office that facilitated the U.S. National Assessment from 1997-2001. During this time, he also coordinated preparation of the official U.S. Government reviews of IPCC’s second and third assessments, and, since 1990, he has served as a contributing author on several IPCC chapters and as review editor for the North America chapter for IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. Since retiring in 2002 after 34 years with LLNL, Mike has, in addition to his activities with the Climate Institute, served as president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (2003-2007) and as a member of the Assessment Integration Team for the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (2002-2004). From 2005-2007, he served as a co-lead author for the report Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable, which was prepared for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development under the auspices of Sigma Xi and the United Nations Foundation.