The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) last week delivered its annual report to Congress for fiscal year 2013: Our Changing Planet.

The report highlights recent activities by 13 federal agencies to strengthen our scientific understanding of global changes including climate change, the threats and opportunities they present, and how they are likely to evolve over time.

In addition, Our Changing Planet showcases tangible results of work carried out by USGCRP agencies, including, for example, some of the most detailed, data rich maps of Alaskan permafrost ever generated; the most precise map ever produced of carbon stored in Earth’s tropical forests; critical information about the number and magnitude of extreme weather events in the United States; and updated maps that help gardeners and growers plan for harvesting seasons.

This report anticipates the USGCRP’s comprehensive Third National Climate Assessement, which will be released in early 2014. MBL Distinguished Scientist Jerry Mellilo chairs the advisory group that is preparing the National Climate Assessment, which presents the latest science about the current and projected effects of climate change across the United States.

billion-dollar-disaster-map-2012

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is announcing preliminary information that the U.S. experienced 11 disasters each costing over a billion dollars in losses in 2012. Of these 11 events, seven were severe weather or tornado events, and two were related to hurricanes/post tropical cyclones. The remaining two were the year-long drought and associated wildfires.