This photo, looking north from Lantana Municipal Beach, was shot at dead low tide on Dec. 2, 2015. Compare this to the 1965 photo of the same scene (below). The condominium building in the foreground here is the same one shown at the far left in the 2015 photo. / Both photos by J.D. Vivian

Some 300 experts on climate change, guided by the 60-member Federal Advisory Committee, produced the “National Climate Assessment” report. This report also was reviewed by various federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

The first paragraph of the Overview section reads:


“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple-syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. So, too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from Phoenix to New York, and Native Peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska. This National Climate Assessment concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country.”

To read the complete Overview, visit https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/overview/overview.

To read how climate change is expected to affect the Southeastern U.S. — and the Caribbean — visit https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/southeast.

Two women (details are intentionally blurred out) stand on Lantana Municipal Beach in summer 1965. The women are standing immediately to the left of the apparent high-tide mark. Note the loss of beach in 50 years, compared to the 2015 photo.

Highlights from the “Southeast” section

“The Southeast and Caribbean region is exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise, extreme heat events, hurricanes, and decreased water availability. The geographic distribution of these impacts and vulnerabilities is uneven, since the region encompasses a wide range of environments, from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal plains. The region is home to more than 80 million people and some of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas, three of which are along the coast and vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge. The Gulf and Atlantic coasts are major producers of seafood and home to seven major ports that are also vulnerable. The Southeast is a major energy producer of coal, crude oil, and natural gas, and is the highest energy user of any of the National Climate Assessment regions.”

The Southeast section includes three “Key Messages”:

  • “Sea-level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to both natural and built environments and to the regional economy.”
  • “Increasing temperatures and the associated increase in frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat events will affect public health, natural and built environments, energy, agriculture, and forestry.”
  • “Decreased water availability, exacerbated by population growth and land-use change, will continue to increase competition for water and affect the region’s economy and unique ecosystems.”