Future Climate

Human-induced climate change is projected to continue, and it will accelerate significantly if global emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase. 

Heat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere have committed us to a hotter future with more climate-related impacts over the next few decades. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases that human activities emit globally, now and in the future.

Where we are heading
Both voluntary activities and a variety of policies and measures that lower emissions are currently in place at federal, state, and local levels in the U.S., even though there is no comprehensive national climate legislation. Over the remainder of this century, aggressive and sustained greenhouse gas emission reductions by the U.S. and by other nations would be needed to reduce global emissions to a level consistent with the lower scenario (B1) analyzed in this assessment. 

Melillo, Jerry M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and Gary W. Yohe, Eds., 2014: Highlights of Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, pp. 28–31, Print.