On Friday, the federal government released the Fourth National Climate Assessment. The report determines that if intensive actions are not taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions and regional initiatives implemented to adapt, there will be severe ramifications for the climate and human health, infrastructure and the economy. The report presents overall findings and also breaks into segments to assess the impacts on areas such as agriculture, transportation, air quality and human health. It telescopes to individual regions of the country, finding, among other things, that the Northeast’s seasonality is at risk, which in turn threatens the region’s economy. Vermont state climatologist and University of Vermont Professor of Geography Lesley-Anne Dupigny-Giroux is the lead author of the Northeast chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. She was selected from among 200 scientists to lead the Northeast chapter.
“There are two leads. There’s the federal lead and I’m the chapter lead. The federal lead has to be the one who coordinates with other federal agencies because there’re 13 agencies that participated. And then the chapter leads are usually either independent scientists or scientists at research institutions or universities. Our job was to get a pulse what were the key pieces that needed to be covered for the entire Northeast region which runs from Maine to upstate New York down to West Virginia and across Washington D.C. And then once we had those pieces in place to then invite authors to join our team to help write the entire chapter.”