Adaptation Online was launched in 2008 as a clearinghouse for climate adaptation information. Submissions and comments are welcome.
Contact Adaptation Online: adaptonline@gmail.com

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Climate Change Indicators in the United States

The U.S. EPA has developed a suite of climate change indicators that can be used to monitor both the causes of climate change (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions) as well as the consequences (e.g., tropical cyclone intensities, heat waves, etc.). None of the indicators appear to be particularly novel, but as the report indicates, they were selected based upon "usefulness, objectivity, data quality, transparency, ability to show a meaningful trend, and relevance to climate change".

As a regulatory agency, such indicators help form the evidence base for justifying regulatory action and for demonstrating the effectiveness of those actions. Previously, the EPA lacked firmly established indicators specifically for climate change. As a consequence, if one examines the 2008 Report on the Environment: Highlights of National Trends, one finds that climate change gets little treatment, and there are very few indicators that provide any measure of climate trends. With 24 climate change indicators now available, the EPA is presumably better equipped to monitor and, more importantly, report on U.S. climate change trends.

No comments: