Federal Coordinating Lead Author:
David Reidmiller, U.S. Global Change Research Program
Lead Author:
Christopher W. Avery, U.S. Global Change Research Program
Contributing Authors:
Michael Kolian, U.S. Global Change Research Program
Kenneth E. Kunkel, North Carolina State University
David Herring, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Reid Sherman, U.S. Global Change Research Program/Straughan Environmental
William V. Sweet, U.S. Global Change Research Program
Kathryn Tipton, U.S. Global Change Research Program/ICF
Christopher Weaver, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Data Tools and Scenarios Products


NOAA produced a set of State Climate Summaries in response to a growing demand for state-level information after the release of NCA3 (stateclimatesummaries.globalchange.gov). These summaries consist of observed and projected climate change information and focus on aspects that are part of NOAA’s mission (mainly, characteristics of the physical climate and coastal issues). These state summaries support various aspects of chapters throughout NCA4 and, deriving from the charge in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, contain information both on historical trends and scientific knowledge about potential future trends.

While the datasets and simulations in these state summaries are not by themselves new (they have been previously published in various sources), these documents represent a targeted synthesis of historical and plausible future climate conditions for each state.

Each summary consists of several high-level Key Messages about how climate change has or is likely to affect that state, as well as a description of the historical climate conditions in the state and of the climate conditions associated with future pathways of GHG emissions. In addition to this consistent information across all the state summaries, each summary contains some degree of state-specific information, making it uniquely valuable to decision-makers across the respective state. All 50 summaries (plus one for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) underwent an anonymous external review, with at least two expert reviews completed per state.

Historical Climate

The description of historical climate conditions for each state is based on an analysis of core climate data (the data sources are described in the supplementary online material for the summaries). However, to help understand, prioritize, and describe the importance and significance of different climate conditions, additional input was derived from climate experts in each state, some of whom are authors on these state summaries. In particular, input was sought from the NOAA Regional Climate Centers and from the State Climatologists. The historical climate conditions are meant to provide a perspective on what has been happening in each state and what types of extreme events have historically been noteworthy and to provide a context for the assessment of future impacts.

Future Scenarios

Future climate scenarios are intended to provide an internally consistent set of climate conditions that can inform analyses of potential impacts of climate change under certain assumptions about the future pathway of GHG emissions. Here, “consistent” means that the relationships among different climate variables and the spatial patterns of these variables derive directly from the same set of climate model simulations and are, therefore, physically plausible. The future climate scenarios are based on well-established sources of information (see the Scenario Products section of this appendix). No new climate model simulations or downscaled datasets were produced for use in the state summaries.

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