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By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Committee on America's Climate Choices

Weather switch is going on. it's very most likely brought on by the emission of greenhouse gases from human actions, and poses major dangers for a variety of human and typical platforms. And those emissions proceed to extend, to be able to bring about extra switch and larger hazards. America's weather offerings makes the case that the environmental, monetary, and humanitarian dangers posed through weather switch point out a urgent desire for massive motion now to restrict the value of weather swap and to arrange for adapting to its affects. even if there's a few uncertainty approximately destiny danger, performing now will decrease the dangers posed through weather swap and the strain to make higher, extra fast, and possibly dearer rate reductions later. so much activities taken to minimize vulnerability to weather switch affects are logic investments that might supply safety opposed to typical weather diversifications and severe occasions. moreover, the most important funding judgements made now approximately apparatus and infrastructure can "lock in" commitments to greenhouse fuel emissions for many years to return. eventually, whereas it can be attainable to cut back or opposite many responses to weather swap, it truly is tough or most unlikely to "undo" weather swap, as soon as manifested. present efforts of neighborhood, country, and private-sector actors are very important, yet probably not to yield development corresponding to what may be accomplished with the addition of robust federal rules that determine coherent nationwide objectives and incentives, and that advertise powerful U.S. engagement in international-level reaction efforts. The inherent complexities and uncertainties of weather switch are most sensible met by means of employing an iterative hazard administration framework and making efforts to seriously lessen greenhouse gasoline emissions; organize for adapting to affects; put money into medical examine, expertise improvement, and data platforms; and facilitate engagement among medical and technical specialists and the various sorts of stakeholders making America's weather offerings.

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For instance, integrated management plans for protection of coastal zones can help alleviate many of the climate-related and non-climate-related concerns listed above. 6 The costs and benefits of different courses of action are generally not well known. Decision making often involves weighing the possible benefits and costs of one course of action against another. Decisions on actions to limit or adapt to climate 33 Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. America's Climate Choices A M E R I C A’ S C L I M AT E C H O I C E S change have characteristics that make such analyses extremely challenging.

There are two major sources of uncertainty in future climate projections. One comes from the scenarios of emissions and other socioeconomic changes. Future emissions (and future vulnerability to climate change) will be determined by a complex set of developments taking place around the world—related to population, economic growth, energy, land use, technology and innovation, and other factors. It is not possible to predict how all such factors will change in the coming decades, but scenarios allow us to explore the implications of different pathways.

Making choices under such conditions can seem very difficult in the abstract, yet most people make such decisions every day. For instance, people decide how fast to drive, knowing that driving faster saves time but also uses more gas, increases the chances of a speeding ticket, makes an accident more likely, and makes the consequences of an accident more severe. People invest in measures to prevent fires in their homes and businesses, and they take out insurance to deal with the consequences in case fires do occur.

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