Two OARDC scientists contribute to National Climate Assessment

Two OARDC scientists were among the 300 experts who contributed to the recently released third U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Brent Sohngen, professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and director of Ohio State’s Environmental Policy Initiative, co-authored the report’s forestry chapter.

Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and director of the school’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, served on the document’s 60-member advisory committee.

Published May 6 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the report concludes that:

  • The world’s climate is indeed changing.
  • Climate change effects are evident across the U.S. based on a wide range of documented observations, such as extreme weather.
  • Human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, are the main cause of the past 50 years of global warming.
  • Human-induced climate change will continue and will speed up significantly if global emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to rise.

“Evidence of climate change appears in every U.S. region and impacts are visible in every state.”—National Climate Assessment

Science for U.S. policy makers

  • The report details the impacts of climate change in America in such areas as agriculture, human health, land and water resources, energy supply and use, and ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Sohngen’s co-authored chapter on forests, for example, finds that climate change is increasing the vulnerability of many U.S. forests to fire, drought, disease outbreaks and insect infestations.
  • Mandated by federal law, the report was delivered to President Barack Obama and to Congress for use in making policy decisions.
  • To contact the scientists: Brent Sohngen at; Rattan Lal at

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