MEDIA ADVISORY — Colorado State University and the National Climate Assessment

Note to Reporters: Colorado State University contributors to the National Climate Assessment are available for interviews. Contact Kate Jeracki to schedule.

 More high-heat days in the summer. More devastating storms in summer and winter. Heavier precipitation and more frequent floods. Drought and water restrictions.

 Americans are already feeling the effects of increases in extreme weather events and sea level rise. These changes are documented in the latest edition of the National Climate Assessment, released today at the White House.

“Climate change is here and now,” said Dennis Ojima, university director of the North Central Climate Science Center, professor of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability in the Warner College of Natural Resources and the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, one of the authors of the NCA.  “This report documents the effects of climate change throughout the nation and what we are doing to deal with these changes.

 “Climate change is presenting both challenges and opportunities for Colorado, both in the mountains and on the plains,” Ojima added. “This is not an alarmist report. We can use the findings of the National Climate Assessment to help our communities be better prepared for the impacts on agriculture and water management, for example. If we understand the findings in a pragmatic way, and embrace them in our future decision making, I’m confident that we can meet the inevitable challenges that we face.”

Colorado State University has been involved in gathering and analyzing data for the National Climate Assessment since the first assessment was completed in 2000.

In addition to Ojima, CSU faculty were lead or contributing authors on several regional chapters and contributed technical input and expertise throughout the NCA process.  Not only does CSU have some of the nation’s best experts in natural resources, water and climate, but involvement in the NCA also furthers the land-grant mission of the university to be engaged in broad issues affecting society.

Several new chapters have been added to the NCA this year, and CSU researchers have had input to nearly all of them: Response Strategies: Adaptation, Mitigation, and Decision Support; Indigenous Peoples; and sectoral “cross cuts” such as Energy, Water, and Land Use, among others.

The complete 2014 National Climate Assessment is available at