Senator Carper Highlights New, Comprehensive Report on the Impact of U.S. Climate Change

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, highlighted the findings from the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, the most comprehensive study on the impacts of climate change on the United States ever commissioned. The report was developed over three years by a team of more than 300 climate scientists and reviewed by federal agencies and the National Academy of Sciences.

The full report and highlights can be found at

“Today’s thorough report commissioned by the Obama Administration provides more credence to what scientists across the nation have been saying for years: our climate is changing at a troublesome rate and we are the primary drivers of it,” Senator Carper said. “The president’s report confirms climate change is driving increases in extreme weather, worsening respiratory and health issues, and reducing agricultural harvests that feed our growing nation. I am particularly troubled by the report’s indication that the Northeast region has experienced a greater increase in extreme precipitation than any other segment of the country.  At the same time, sea levels continue to rise along our coasts, creating more flooding from storm surges.  This report emphasizes that unless we act now, all of these issues will only worsen significantly. The devastating consequences outlined in this report are too great for any of us to continue sitting on the sidelines.

“The increase in frequency and intensity of these extreme weather events are costing our country a great deal – not just in lives impacted – but in economic costs, as well.  The Government Accountability Office has already listed climate change as one of the biggest fiscal risks facing our country; and according to the National Climate Assessment, things are only going to get worse.  We know a little extra planning – combined with prudent, targeted investments – can go a long way in saving both lives and taxpayers dollars.  In this case, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure. As we continue to debate how to reduce our deficits, the National Climate Assessment shows we can no longer afford to ignore the impacts extreme weather is having on federal spending.

“I am encouraged that Delaware has been leading by example by investing in clean energy and energy efficiency, and by reducing carbon pollution that contributes to climate change and worsens air quality. However, one state alone cannot turn the tide of climate change. The costs are too great and affect us all. That’s why it is imperative that my colleagues and I in Congress continue to work on taking action now to alleviate the future impacts of climate change and severe weather around the Northeast and across our nation.”

The National Climate Assessment is part of the president’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare America’s communities for climate-change impacts, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. Today’s report is the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever generated of climate change and its impacts across every region of America and major sectors of the U.S. economy. The report found that the U.S. average temperature has increased significantly over the past 50 years, with the past decade being the warmest on record in United States history.  The report finds a clear correlation between human influence, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels, and increasing U.S. temperatures.

Delaware has been a leading state in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for and mitigating the effects of climate change. For example, Delaware is a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade effort to reduce carbon pollution in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. In addition, in 2013 Governor Markell signed an executive order requiring Delaware agencies to consider rising sea levels when determining the design and location of state projects to increase preparedness and resiliency related to climate change and sea-level rise.