Global Science Report is a feature from the Center for the Study of Science, where we highlight one or two important new items in the scientific literature or the popular media. For broader and more technical perspectives, consult our monthly “Current Wisdom.”
The Obama Administration this week is set to release the latest version of the National Climate Assessment—a report which is supposed to detail the potential impacts that climate change will have on the United States. The report overly focuses on the supposed negative impacts from climate change while largely dismissing or ignoring the positives from climate change.
The bias in the National Climate Assessment (NCA) towards pessimism (which we have previously detailed here) has implications throughout the federal regulatory process because the NCA is cited (either directly or indirectly) as a primary source for the science of climate change for justifying federal regulation aimed towards mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Since the NCA gets it wrong, so does everyone else.
A good example of this can be found in how climate change is effecting the human response during heat waves. The NCA foresees an increasing frequency and magnitude of heat waves leading to growing numbers of heat-related deaths. The leading science suggests just the opposite.