Federal Coordinating Lead Author:
Meredith Muth, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Chapter Lead:
Joel B. Smith, Abt Associates
Chapter Authors:
Alice Alpert, U.S. Department of State
James L. Buizer, University of Arizona
Jonathan Cook, World Resources Institute (formerly U.S. Agency for International Development)
Apurva Dave, U.S. Global Change Research Program/ICF
John Furlow, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University
Kurt Preston, U.S. Department of Defense
Peter Schultz, ICF
Lisa Vaughan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Review Editor:
Diana Liverman, University of Arizona
USGCRP Coordinators:
Apurva Dave, International Coordinator and Senior Analyst

Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests

The global impacts of climate (climate change, variability, and extreme events) are already having important implications for societies and ecosystems around the world and are projected to continue to do so into the future.1,2,3 There are specific U.S. interests that can be affected by climate-related impacts outside of U.S. borders, such as climate variability (for example, El Niño/La Niña events), climate extremes (for example, floods resulting from extreme precipitation), and long-term changes (for example, sea level rise). These interests include economics and trade (Key Message 1), international development and humanitarian assistance (Key Message 2), national security (Key Message 3), and transboundary resources (Key Message 4). While these four topics are addressed separately, they can also affect each other. For example, climate-related disasters in developing countries not only have significant local and regional socioeconomic impacts, but they can also set back U.S. development investments, increase the need for U.S. humanitarian assistance, and affect U.S. trade and national security. U.S. citizens have long been concerned about the welfare of those living beyond U.S. borders and their vulnerability to the global impacts of climate.4,5


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