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Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems (2010)

report cover imageThis report from the National Research Council identifies seventy-one metrics that when taken together may give advance warning of climate-related changes and their impacts across a range of both local and global scales.

Currently, many observing systems capture elements of how climate is changing, such as direct measurements of atmospheric and ocean temperature. However, these measurements do not provide information about the impacts of climate change on humans that are especially relevant for political and economic planning and decision making. The report lays out an illustrative suite of indicators, metrics, and measurements — and the locations around the globe where the measurements can be applied — that are important for understanding global climate change and providing insight into environmental sustainability. For instance, several of the metrics are sea level rise, seasonal snow cover, and air quality.

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