Two volunteers help demonstrate and install solar panels in Highland Park, Michigan, in May 2021. The event was hosted by the local nonprofit Soulardarity, which teaches local residents about solar power, installs solar-powered streetlights that also provide wireless internet access, and helps local communities build a just and equitable energy system.
Two volunteers help demonstrate and install solar panels in Highland Park, Michigan, in May 2021. The event was hosted by the local nonprofit Soulardarity, which teaches local residents about solar power and installs solar-powered streetlights.
Image courtesy of Nick Hagen

Climate change is already here. It’s here in the warming experienced across the globe, as well as storms and other extreme weather that are posing increased risks to people around the U.S. It’s in the hotter summers and flooding that are devastating communities. It’s especially hitting communities that been historically marginalized, resulting in worsening of social inequities.

But the U.S. is taking ambitious action to reduce future impacts. In fact, climate action provides us with the opportunity to create a more resilient and just nation.

Fortunately, we already have many of the strategies we need to substantially reduce emissions. From renewable energy to energy efficiency technologies supported by the Department of Energy (DOE), people can save money and produce fewer emissions. However, we need additional options to reach net zero emissions by 2050. DOE's Energy Earthshots are making those options a reality.

We can also use climate science to help people make their own communities more resilient. DOE Office of Science’s urban integrated field laboratories bring together scientists and community members to inform local climate and energy solutions.

The Fifth National Climate Assessment provides an overview of these issues and more. It equips Americans with the best available science and understanding of climate change impacts in the United States. Released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the NCA5 is the work of more than 500 authors, including those from the DOE and our national labs.

DOE Office of Science Director Asmeret Asefaw Berhe described the context of the report and DOE’s role in it. 

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. DOE Office of Science Director Asmeret Asefaw Berhe explains DOE’s role and the importance of the report.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science

Many of the DOE scientists who contributed to the NCA5 shared about how their area of research contributes to a better understanding of climate now and in the future.

Christa Brelsford from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory explained why complex systems are important to understand in terms of climate change.

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. Christa Brelsford from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains why complex systems are important to understand in terms of climate change.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science

Rebecca Efroymson from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory explained how our understanding of the relationship between energy and climate change has evolved over time and how that can inform our future.

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. Rebecca Efroymson from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains how our understanding of the relationship between energy and climate change has evolved over time and how that can inform our future.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science

Nathalie Voisin from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discussed how issues around how climate change affect energy systems and how transitioning our energy systems can reduce the impacts of climate change.

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. Nathalie Voisin from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discusses how issues around how climate change affects energy systems and how transitioning our energy systems can reduce climate change’s impacts.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science

Ruby Leung from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory talked about how she and other researchers make projections about climate change and its effects, including on extreme weather.
 

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. Ruby Leung from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory talks about how she and other researchers make projections about climate change and its effects, including on extreme weather.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science

Zarrar Khan from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory described how projections of future electricity use can help us understand climate change.

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. Zarrar Khan from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory describes how projections of future electricity use can help us understand climate change.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science

John Field from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory described how land use will change as America reduces its greenhouse gas emissions.

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The fifth National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s preeminent report on the impacts and risks of and responses to climate change. Scientists at the Department of Energy and its national laboratories made major contributions to the report. John Field from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory describes how land use will change as America reduces its greenhouse gas emissions.
Video courtesy of DOE Office of Science
Shannon Brescher Shea
Shannon Brescher Shea (shannon.shea@science.doe.gov) is the social media manager and senior writer/editor in the Office of Science’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
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