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The Fifth National Climate Assessment

“The Fifth National Climate Assessment is the US Government’s preeminent report on climate change impacts, risks, and responses. It is a congressionally mandated interagency effort that provides the scientific foundation to support informed decision-making across the United States. The more the planet warms, the greater the impacts. Without rapid and deep reductions in global emissions from human activities, the risks of accelerating sea level rise, intensifying extreme weather, and other harmful climate impacts will continue to grow. Each additional increment of warming is expected to lead to more damage and greater economic losses compared to previous increments of warming, while the risk of catastrophic or unforeseen consequences also increases. {2.3, 19.1}However, this also means that each increment of warming that the world avoids—through actions that cut or remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere—reduces the and harmful impacts of climate change. While there are still uncertainties about how the planet will react to rapid warming, the degree to which climate change will continue to worsen is largely in human hands. {2.3, 3.4} In addition to reducing risks to future generations, rapid emissions cuts are expected to have immediate health and economic benefits (Figure 1.1). At the national scale, the benefits of deep emissions cuts for current and future generations are expected to far outweigh the costs. {2.1, 2.3, 13.3, 14.5, 15.3, 32.4; Ch. 2, Introduction}…”

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