US Climate Change Science Program Updated 15 December 2008

Abrupt Climate Change

Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.4

See also press release and podcast from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (dtd 15 Dec 2008)


Get Acrobat Reader

SAP 3.4 Cover CCSP, 2008: Abrupt Climate Change. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research [Clark, P.U., A.J. Weaver (coordinating lead authors), E. Brook, E.R. Cook, T.L. Delworth, and K. Steffen (chapter lead authors)]. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, 459 pp.

See also brochure:

Abrupt Climate Change: Summary and Findings.

Final Report

Note: All links are to PDF files.

Entire Report [8.5 Mb]

Individual Sections

Front Matter [528 Kb]

Preface [252 Kb]

Executive Summary [272 Kb]

Chapter 1: Introduction: Abrupt Changes in the Earth's Climate System [1.7 Mb]

Chapter 2: Rapid Changes in Glaciers and Ice Sheets and Their Impacts on Sea Level [1.7 Mb]

Chapter 3: Hydrological Variability and Change [2.2 Mb]

Chapter 4: The Potential for Abrupt Change in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation [2.8 Mb]

Chapter 5: Potential for Abrupt Changes in Atmospheric Methane [1.3 Mb]

Appendix [328 Kb]

Back Matter [240 Kb]

This document, part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan, was prepared in accordance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554) and the information quality act guidelines issued by the Department of Commerce and NOAA pursuant to Section 515). The CCSP Interagency Committee relies on Department of Commerce and NOAA certifications regarding compliance with Section 515 and Department guidelines as the basis for determining that this product conforms with Section 515. For purposes of compliance with Section 515, this CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product is an “interpreted product” as that term is used in NOAA guidelines and is classified as “highly influential”. This document does not express any regulatory policies of the United States or any of its agencies, or provide recommendations for regulatory action.


US Climate Change Science Program, Suite 250, 1717 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: +1 202 223 6262. Fax: +1 202 223 3065. Email: . Web: Webmaster:
US Climate Change Science Program Home Page