We can address these changes through climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and through sustainable living. Explore our web pages to see how. To learn even more about climate in our region, visit the websites of some of the most respected authorities on these subjects.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a Federal program that coordinates and integrates global change research across 13 government agencies. USGCRP was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which also requires a National Climate Assessment (NCA). The NCA is an important resource for understanding and communicating climate change science and impacts in the United States. The Assessment:
- Informs the nation about already observed changes, the current status of the climate, and anticipated trends for the future
- Integrates scientific information from multiple sources and sectors to highlight key findings and significant gaps in our knowledge
- Establishes consistent methods for evaluating climate impacts in the U.S. in the context of broader global change
- Provides input to Federal science priorities and are used by U.S. citizens, communities, and businesses as they create more sustainable and environmentally sound plans for the nation’s future.
- The most recent National Climate Assessment is dated 2014 and has 12 major findings. Fort Lauderdale is part of the Southeast U.S. / Caribbean assessment region which was deemed “exceptionally vulnerable” to risks from man-made climate change. An overview of the latest climate report for our region can be found here. The 2012 Southeast Regional Technical Report to the National Climate Assessment has detailed information about expected changes, as well as the impacts of those changes on water and air quality, agriculture, health, buildings and more.
Florida State University’s Florida Climate Center
The Florida Climate Center provides climate data, information, and services including historical weather observations for weather stations throughout the state of Florida, information and analyses on extreme events such as storms, freezes, droughts, floods and hurricanes, expert insight into Florida's climate trends, as well as outreach.
The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council was created by the 2005 Legislature through The Oceans and Coastal Resources Act. The Council is charged each year with developing priorities for ocean and coastal research and establishing a statewide ocean research plan. The Council also coordinates public and private ocean research for more effective coastal management. This council publication contains an excellent bibliography of sources on sea level rise. This report discusses climate change and sea level rise in Florida and includes detail on specific effects.
The Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) is a research center established in 1994 by Florida's State University System's Board of Regents. CES' main office is located at Florida Atlantic University's MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. CES' mission has been to facilitate and coordinate environmental research and education efforts in tropical and sub-tropical water-dominated freshwater, estuarine and coastal ecosystems of Florida.
NASA Earth System Science conducts and sponsors research, collects new observations, develops technologies and extends science and technology education to learners of all ages. They seek to answer fundamental science questions about the changes we see in climate, weather, and natural hazards, and deliver sound science that helps decision-makers make informed choices. Visit these sections of NASA’s website to see how they advance earth system science to meet the challenges of climate and environmental change, and to access their comprehensive "Vital Signs for the Planet."
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. In their words, their reach "goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as [they] work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them." NOAA has a presence in every state in our country, and its National Hurricane Center and Southeast Fisheries Science Center are right here in South Florida. NOAA provides daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring, as well as a host of services, data and research to support fisheries management, coastal restoration, marine commerce, urban planning, emergency management and other decision making. NOAA’s climate pages provide details on how weather is changing by region and what we need to do to become a “climate smart nation.” NOAA's Coastal Services Center also offers an excellentwebsitefor accessing data, tools, training, and stories about climate change.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.” The IPCC is a scientific body, but does not produce research of its own. Instead it gathers information from 195 member countries around the world, and reviews and assesses that information to produce a worldview and understanding of climate change and its impacts. Thousands of scientists voluntarily contribute data and research results so that a wide range of results and opinions is available to the IPCC.
Country governments participate in the review process and other sessions and decision-making, and use the results to inform policy back home. The IPCC’s most recent assessment report (AR5) was released in late 2013. Working groups produced supporting documentation on the Physical Science Basis, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulberability, and also Mitigation of Climate Change.