EPA Climate Change Indicators in the United States 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partners with more than 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile a key set of indicators related to climate change.  The indicators are developed to better understand changes observed from long-term records related to the causes and effects of climate change, the significance of these changes, and their possible consequences for people, the environment, and society. EPA currently presents 37 indicators and five features that each highlight a specific region, data record, or area of interest. The indicators are collectively detailed in this report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States; are available as individual PDFs per indicator; and are illustrated on the linked website.

In the report, the indicators are grouped into six chapters: Greenhouse Gases, Weather and Climate, Oceans, Snow and Ice, Health and Society, and Ecosystems. Several indicators highlight the specific implications for human health.

Each indicator report includes:

  • Easy-to-understand graphs or maps depicting changes over time
  • Background on how the indicator relates to climate change
  • Key points about what the indicator shows
  • A description of each data source used and how the indicator was developed
  • Transparent technical support documentation
  • Web links to download high-resolution figures and data files

Some indicators feature interactive maps online. For example, the sea level map can be clicked to show trends at specific locations.


The following indicators are included:

Greenhouse Gases

  • U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases
  • Climate Forcing

Weather and Climate

  • U.S. and Global Temperature
  • High and Low Temperatures
  • U.S. and Global Precipitation
  • Heavy Precipitation
  • Tropical Cyclone Activity
  • River Flooding
  • Drought
  • A Closer Look: Temperature and Drought in the Southwest


  • Ocean Heat
  • Sea Surface Temperature
  • Sea Level
  • A Closer Look: Land Loss Along the Atlantic Coast
  • Coastal Flooding
  • Ocean Acidity

Snow and Ice

  • Arctic Sea Ice
  • Antarctic Sea Ice
  • Glaciers
  • Lake Ice
  • Community Connection: Ice Breakup in Two Alaskan Rivers
  • Snowfall
  • Snow Cover
  • Snowpack

Health and Society

  • Heat-Related Deaths
  • Heat-Related Illnesses
  • Heating and Cooling Degree Days
  • Lyme Disease
  • West Nile Virus
  • Length of Growing Season
  • Ragweed Pollen Season


  • Wildfires
  • Streamflow
  • Stream Temperature
  • Tribal Connection: Trends in Stream Temperature in the Snake River
  • Great Lakes Water Levels and Temperatures
  • Bird Wintering Ranges
  • Marine Species Distribution
  • Leaf and Bloom Dates
  • Community Connection: Cherry Blossom Bloom Dates in Washington, D.C.

In order to maintain access to this website, we are linking to an archived version of the website saved on January 25, 2017. The original link can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators 

Publication Date: August 2016

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Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Indicators


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