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Images: Science in Service to the Nation

WHOI physical oceanographer Ray Schmitt, who participated in the National Research Council's panel on "America's Climate Choices" and contributed to the report, "Advancing the Science of Climate Change." (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Scientists now predict that by the end of the century, sea level will rise three to four feet—enough to change the coastline of much of the northeastern U.S. On this map, areas susceptible to a sea level rise of one meter (3.3 feet) are shown in red. High population areas are indicated in white. (Courtesy of Environmental Studies Laboratory, Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona)

The shoreline of Chatham, Mass., has been battered and reshaped by potent Atlantic winds and waves for centuries. These photos show the barrier beach in 1985 (top) and 1995 (bottom), before and after a winter nor’easter created a new inlet. Recent findings suggest climate change will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which will increase the frequency and strength of highly destructive storms. (Top photo courtesy of Duncan Fitzgerald, Boston University. Bottom photo by Joseph R. Melanson of skypic.com)

With a three- to four-foot increase in sea level, houses on the beach won't be the only ones vulnerable to severe damage. Higher seas will cause storm surges to travel farther inland, threatening buildings that once would have been a safe distance from the shore. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

The fossil fuel-driven activities of modern industrialized society—driving vehicles, heating buildings, operating industrial machinery—have put millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. To slow or stop climate change will require that we shift to other sources of energy. (Digital Vision Ltd.)

Clouds of smoke billow up from burning oil in the Gulf of Mexico on May 19, 2010. The controlled burns were set to reduce the amount of oil in the water following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill. The disaster highlighted some of the risks and consequences of relying on fossil fuels. (Courtesy of the United States Coast Guard)

WHOI oceanographer Ray Schmitt contributed to Advancing the Science of Climate Change, one of the reports issued recently by the National Research Council's panel on America's Climate Choices.
(Courtesy of National Academy of Sciences National Research Council)