May 6, 2014

Sen. Whitehouse: National Climate Assessment May Force Deniers to Confront Reality

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released its third National Climate Assessment (NCA), an extensive report mandated by Congress to be completed every four years.  The third NCA, developed over four years by 13 federal agencies and hundreds of scientific authors, explains how climate change is already affecting every region of the country, our ocean, and our economy.  The NCA also provides detailed projections of future changes.  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, released the statement below regarding the assessment:

“In Rhode Island, and the other states that I’ve been privileged to visit, people are already experiencing the effects of climate change in their daily lives.  The latest National Climate Assessment provides a grim outlook of what our future will look like if we fail to act.  Those who continue to deny that climate change exists or claim that is it too costly to act should take a hard look at what this new assessment says about the future of their communities.  It’s not too late to avoid the worst outcomes, but we have to wake up now and significantly reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change.”

The report predicts that heat waves, extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge will become more prevalent in Rhode Island and throughout New England.  These climatic changes and extreme events will continue to stress infrastructure, agriculture, and the economy.  Adaptation at the state and community level is imperative to address the mounting international and regional effects of climate change. 

More details from the report are available online at

Senator Whitehouse is also a co-chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change and the Senate Climate Action Task Force.  He has given 65 weekly speeches urging Congress to wake up on climate change.  And this year he has traveled to Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to see firsthand how climate change is affecting those states.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921