Elephant Butte New Mexico (photo courtesy of Zack Guido)
Institute of the Environment 2017

Four UA Researchers Contribute to Upcoming Climate Change Report

Friday, March 17, 2017

By Kaitlyn Fletcher, Institute of the Environment

Four University of Arizona researchers have been tapped to help write chapters of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive report on the science of climate change, observed and projected changes and impacts across the United States.

With about 200 authors, the upcoming report will provide current information to officials, businesses and members of the public to help them make the most informed decisions about climate change and managing related risks. 

“The National Climate Assessment is a valuable resource for all Americans that summarizes the latest information on climate change science, impacts and responses within each region of the United States and across important sectors, like agriculture, energy, forests, transportation, water and public health,” said Gregg Garfin, deputy director for science translation and outreach for the UA’s Institute of the Environment. 

Garfin will reprise his role from the last report, released in 2014, as a lead author on the Southwest chapter in the upcoming assessment. Joining him as chapter co-authors are Heidi Brown, an assistant professor in the College of Public Health, and David Breshears, a professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment who also contributed to the previous assessment.    

“I am looking forward to seeing what we learned in the past four years,” Garfin said. 

Jim Buizer, deputy director for climate adaptation and international development for the Institute of the Environment, is one of 10 authors contributing to a new chapter on Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests. 

"This is the first time the report will include a chapter specifically focused on international considerations, which range from the vulnerability of our global supply chains to issues of national security and resource management along our international borders,” Buizer said. “I am excited to have been asked to be an author, especially given the many critical climate-related challenges we face along the Arizona border with Mexico.” 

The U.S. Global Change Research Program, overseen by the federal government, creates a climate assessment every four years in cooperation with 13 federal agencies. The latest assessment is expected to be released in December 2018. The public will be invited to comment on the report in fall 2017 as part of an extensive review process.