Rachel Licker

Senior climate scientist

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Rachel Licker is a senior climate scientist with the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, Dr. Licker communicates climate science to policymakers, the public, and the media. She analyzes new developments in climate science and works to defend climate science budgets and programs. See Rachel's full bio.

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Kingfisher, OK, August 19, 2007 -- Children play in flood water from Tropical Storm Erin. Photo: FEMA

The National Climate Assessment Provides Exactly the Information the Country—and Its Leaders—Need to Hear

There’s no option to avoid dealing with climate change—either we work now to mitigate and adapt, or we pay an ever-increasing price in years to come. The NCA4 makes it clear that there are many adverse impacts of climate change that can be limited or avoided if we take immediate action to drastically reduce global warming emissions. Read more >

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What is the Fourth National Climate Assessment?

The report is a scientific assessment that provides decision-makers with objective information that they can use to decide how to best protect their constituents from heavy rainfall, hurricanes, wildfires, rising seas and other impacts of climate change. Read more >

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Photo: Flickr / Irene / Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC 2.0

Heat Extremes at 1.5°C and 2°C Warming

A key feature of the new IPCC report is its look into how climate change impacts are likely to be different at 1.5°C and 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels. A comparative look at heat extremes at these two warming levels is among the topics covered. The implications of these kind of projected changes – from adverse effects on our health and safety, to creating pre-conditions for large wildfires – are not difficult to envision after the devastating heat waves of 2018.

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Photo: Flickr / Irene / Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC 2.0
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Photo: IISD

Understanding 1.5°C: The IPCC’s Forthcoming Special Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – an international body that develops non-policy prescriptive climate science assessments for decisionmakers – is currently compiling a Special Report that will provide information on what it would take to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report will also assess the climate impacts that could be avoided by keeping warming to this level, and the ways we can limit the worst impacts of climate change and adapt to the ones that are unavoidable. Read more >

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Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Will Happer, a Climate Science Denier, Joins the White House

News broke Tuesday that Dr. William Happer, a skeptic of climate science and professor emeritus of Physics at Princeton University, has joined the National Security Council, directing an emerging technologies portfolio. The scope of his responsibilities and the power he will wield remain unclear as the position appears to be newly created. However, Dr. Happer’s public condemnation for the scientific consensus around climate change (a field that he is not an expert in) is cause for serious concern, especially given the role the National Security Council has in setting high-level foreign policy and the growing threat climate change is posing to our nation’s security. Read more >

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