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As we heard in the discussion last night, climate change is affecting every state and community in the Ten Across region. But also, a critical conclusion of the (National Climate Assessment) is that Americans are taking action on climate change.

Dave White, Associate Vice President of Research for Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise and NCA5 Southwest Chapter lead author.

There is a concerted, coordinated effort within state government that is unprecedented in terms of recognizing the existential threat that we have today, not tomorrow. And from where I sit, there has never been, and there will never be in our lifetime, such an incredible opportunity when you add the federal dollars and the $180 billion that is coming to California and more around infrastructure.

Samuel Assefa, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

The fifth National Climate Assessment, or ‘the NCA,’ was released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program in November 2023. This robust and thoroughly peer-reviewed collection of scientific findings among 500 experts describes current climate impacts and recommended adaptation strategies across every sector and region of the country. 

The Ten Across Summit in Los Angeles took place less than a month after its release. To mark this moment and provide context for the next two days of discussions around water, energy, housing, insurance, and other key topics, we gathered NCA authors and experts in sustainable development to share their insights and reactions to the report.

This conversation led by NCA Southwest Chapter leader author Dave White, delves into the importance of this document, and provides context for how we should respond to meet the climate challenges ahead. The panelists expressed optimism upon its release, as the strategies included in the report arrive at a time where there has never been greater consensus or funding available around climate action in the Ten Across region and throughout the United States.

See also: The Climate is Changing. What Can We Do About It? – APM Research Lab

Guest Speakers

Samuel Assefa is the Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, which is focused on land-use and community development, climate resilience, and sustainable economic growth in the state. Sam also leads the state’s Office of Community Partnership and Strategic Communications, connecting 120 community-based organizations speaking 40 different languages to important climate science and data.

Dave White is the Associate Vice President of Research for Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise and the Southwest Chapter lead author for the NCA. Dave is also the Director of the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU.

Leah Fisher is the Program Director at Invest in Our Future, a philanthropic effort to mobilize federal climate investments to strengthen communities across country. Leah is also an author of the Southwest chapter for the latest NCA.


Brittany Moffett is a Senior Resilience Engineer for Arup, a global sustainable development consulting firm. Brittany works across various sectors and government agencies to fortify communities against a more variable climate.