5th National Climate Assessment Now Available

NCA5 NewsStoryImage
Youth entry (8th grade) from the Art x Climate gallery, titled “Redrawing the Earth” and created by Ritika S.

We’re pleased to announce that the 5th National Climate Assessment (NCA5) was released on November 14th, 2023. Read below to learn more about NCA5, SCIPP’s involvement and what’s included in the chapters for our region, what’s new since NCA5, webinar opportunities, and how to access the report.

About NCA5

NCA5 is the authoritative source of information related to climate change risks, impacts, and responses in the U.S. The NCA was mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990 and is produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) about every 4 years. The report includes chapters on physical science, national-level sectors (e.g., energy, water, agriculture, transportation, health, etc.), regional impacts, and responses (mitigation and adaptation). The NCA is policy-neutral, aiming to inform decisions, not recommend or advocate for policies. NCA5 was written by over 700 authors and contributors across the U.S. and went through multiple rounds of review.

Key Takeaways from NCA5 include:

  • The U.S. is taking action on climate change.
  • People in the U.S. are experiencing increased risks from extreme events.
  • Climate change exacerbates social inequities.
  • Available mitigation strategies can deliver substantial emissions reductions, but additional options are needed to reach net zero.
  • Climate action is an opportunity to create a more resilient and just nation.

SCIPP’s Involvement and Content for Our Region

SCIPP Co-PIs Darrian Bertrand and Sascha Petersen are authors on the Southern Great Plains chapter (Ch. 26) of NCA5, led by Dr. Renee McPherson, a SCIPP Investigator. SCIPP’s Dr. Lauren Mullenbach and Dr. Mark Shafer were also contributors to the chapter.  This chapter covers Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and assesses how climate change impacts how we live, work, and play in the region. Read the University of Oklahoma’s press release here. The Southeast chapter (Ch. 22) covers Arkansas and Louisiana in the SCIPP region, and describes how climate change affects human health, economic security, and agriculture. Both chapters include information about the disproportionate climate change impacts on under-resourced and overburdened communities and provide examples of actions taken by communities to adapt to climate change and increase resilience. 

What’s New Since NCA4 (2018)?

NCA5 includes scientific advancements, such as an improved understanding of climate sensitivity and extreme event attribution; more information on disproportionate climate change impacts on overburdened communities, including how climate impacts exacerbate social inequities; case studies that demonstrate how communities have successfully implemented climate solutions; and new insights on how people experience climate change and how climate actions are understood, communicated, and implemented. New chapters include Economics and Social Systems and Justice.

A unique aspect of NCA5 is the first-ever Call for Art, which resulted in ~90 pieces of art included throughout the report, a poem from the U.S. poet laureate, and a companion podcast. The Art x Climate gallery can be viewed here. NCA5 also included more public engagement opportunities than previous assessments, and the entire report will be available in Spanish for the first time.

The NCA5 Atlas is a new tool that supplements NCA5. The Atlas is an online interactive tool that allows users to access NCA5 downscaled temperature and precipitation data and create or download regional or local maps to inform decisions. Access the tool here.


USGCRP is hosting a NCA5 webinar series, offering a one-hour webinar for each chapter. This is a great opportunity to hear about the findings from chapter authors and ask questions.

  • The full list of webinars can be found here.
  • Southeast chapter webinar: December 6th, 11am-12pm CT. Register here.
  • Southern Great Plains chapter webinar: December 6th, 2-3pm CT. Register here.

Access NCA5

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