IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

14.1 Introduction

The United States (U.S.) and Canada will experience climate changes through direct effects of local changes (e.g., temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events), as well as through indirect effects, transmitted among regions by interconnected economies and migrations of humans and other species. Variations in wealth and geography, however, lead to an uneven distribution of likely impacts, vulnerabilities and capacities to adapt. This chapter reviews and synthesises the state of knowledge on direct and indirect impacts, vulnerability and adaptations for North America (comprising Canada and the U.S). Hawaii and other U.S. protectorates are discussed in Chapter 16 on Small Islands, and Mexico and Central America are treated in Chapter 13 on Latin America. Chapter 15, Polar Regions, covers high-latitude issues and peoples.