Using the National Climate Assessment (NCA)

National Climate AssessmentToday the National Climate Assessment (NCA) was released providing the country with an in depth summary of the current and projected impacts of climate change.  The report can be accessed at and includes sections focused on regions including the:




Great Plains





Rural Communities


In addition it includes sections focused on water supply, human health, infrastructure, indigenous peoples, ecosystems and biodiversity and oceans.

First reactions to the report are that there is a lot of information and unless you have a clear goal or outcome, it can be overwhelming to explore.  Accessing the NCA from the US Global Change website, might be a bit more manageable, especially if you think of this site as the overarching framework for a “live” online version of the report found at  One of the real strengths of the online report lies in the intentionally designed website and interactive graphics. I spent some time this morning exploring different sections of the website. The following are some personal highlights.

Website Usabilty

The website is extremely visual and easy to use.  Instead of just creating a landing spot to download the pdf of the report, you can interact with highlights from each section including graphics and summary text.  As you scroll through you can tell where you are by the colored dots on side and the numbers up above.


There was a lot of work put into creating colorful, clear graphics that illustrate the information.  Throughout the website you can click on them and they will pop out larger and with explanatory text, give you the option to share it via social media, as well as download it.  My favorite graphic so far is the interactive map showing current and projected species responses to climate change in the Ecosystems and Biodiversity section.  I also love that each section has a moving photo behind it.

Key Messages

Each section includes key messages and the ability to click on the support in evidence for those messages if you want to go more in depth.


Every section has the references cited at the end with links to the source.

A lot of work has been going into developing educational resources that support The NCA and that work will continue throughout this next year.  NOAA’s Teaching Climate site has developed a good introduction and will be continually updated as resources are developed. Please visit our recent archived webinar featuring the NCA, as well as our Minnesota’s Changing Climate curricula and online classroom for educational resources featuring the regional impacts of climate change highlighted in the NCA.




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