President Obama unveiled the latest phase in his climate change strategy late last week, issuing an executive order
to create a new cross-government task force to address "climate preparedness and resilience".
The new task force, consisting of senior officials from a host of government agencies and departments, will be required to "support regional, state, local, and tribal action to assess climate change related vulnerabilities and cost-effectively increase climate preparedness and resilience of communities, critical economic sectors, natural and built infrastructure, and natural resources".
The Executive Order reasserts the Obama administration's warnings that climate change poses a significant economic and public health threat to the US.
"The impacts of climate change - including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise - are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation,"