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Flores co-authors chapter for Fifth National Climate Assessment

Two persons carry a solar panel in a residential neighborhood
Two volunteers help demonstrate and install solar panels in Highland Park, Michigan, in May 2021. The event was hosted by the local nonprofit Soulardarity, which teaches local residents about solar power, installs solar-powered streetlights that also provide wireless internet access, and helps local communities build a just and equitable energy system. Adopting energy storage with decentralized solutions, such as microgrids or off-grid systems, can promote energy equity in overburdened communities. Photo credit: Nick Hagen.

Professor of geosciences Alejandro “Lejo” Flores was a contributing author of the Fifth National Climate Assessment, released November 14, 2023. Flores co-wrote the chapter 18, “Complex Systems,” together with colleagues from the University of Miami, Cornell University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The chapter focuses on how climate change is increasingly affecting vulnerable populations throughout the United States because of the intersection between changes in climate and to infrastructure, housing and livelihoods. This shift calls for more collaborative approaches to decision-making that integrate diverse ways of knowing in efforts to adapt to and mitigate against climate change, the authors said.

The National Climate Assessment is a quadrennial report to the U.S. President and Congress, mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The act calls on the U.S. Global Change Research Program to report on the current understanding of climate change as it affects the U.S., the effects on the natural environment and human systems, and anticipated trends over the next 25 to 100 years. The full publication can be viewed at