Six University of Arizona researchers contributed to the National Climate Change Report that was released today. The report is written by more than 300 authors, broken up into groups in regions of the country. It details possible climate impacts that could help lawmakers and the public know what decisions to make.
"I felt like I had an important contribution to make and also a responsibility to do the best job in assessing the available science," said Gregg Garfin, a UA climatologist who was the lead author for the Southwest Region.
Garfin said the chosen authors in this report were told to assess results related to the impacts and risks to the country.
"So we're not doing original research, we're synthesizing and assessing existing literature," said Garfin.
For the Southwest Region, Garfin says they landed on seven different topics the authors thought were important to the public, and that would also strike interest to stakeholders: water, ecosystems, coasts, energy, indigenous peoples, food, and human health.
"If I had to make a single pint and wrap a bow around it, it would be that all of these things are interconnected," said Garfin.
One topic can influence the other, and create ripple affects. Garfin says its encouraging to know that decision makers are thinking about climate change more on a bigger scale.
"The conversations that they're having are not restricted. Like if you're looking at human health. In the past, the health people spoke just to the health people. Or the water people just spoke to the water people. Now we're having conversations across these different sectors and different disciplines to look at the interconnections," said Garfin.
Another big portion of the report, for the Southwest Region, are the indigenous peoples efforts in conservation. Garfin said, Native American tribes are making plans to adapt to climate changes and are using renewable energy sources on reservations.