Michael Kolian is an Environmental Scientist at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Climate Change Division, where he has worked for 16 years and specializes in climate change science and impacts. He currently manages and authors EPA’s Climate Change Indicators in the United States report and is co-chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Interagency Indicator Working Group. He has a Master of Science in Public Health from Tulane University’s School Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP) compiles and publishes a set of key indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change into a peer-reviewed report entitled: Climate Change Indicators in the United States and as an online resource. EPA partners with over 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to gather these data and analyses.
The primary purpose of this effort is to track and document climate change in the U.S., and to provide a tool to communicate to broad audiences, including policymakers and the public. The indicators in this report are designed to help readers understand observed long-term trends related to the causes and effects of climate change. EPA leverages peer-reviewed and publicly available data to identify metrics and indicators that help characterize climate change in the US. EPA chooses its indicators using a standard set of criteria that includes data quality, transparency of analytical methods, ability to meaningfully communicate, and relevance to climate change.
EPA currently presents 37 indicators, each describing trends related to the causes and effects of climate change at multiple scales. They focus primarily on the U.S., but some present global trends to provide context or a basis for comparison, and others have a regional focus. EPA plans to continue to work in with other agencies, organizations, and individuals to collect and communicate useful data to more fully capture the range of impacts and effects associated with climate change.