( File photo )

With a considerable focus on agriculture, the National Council for Science and the Environment has published a comprehensive review of climate science research in selected public universities.

The 114-page report, available online, gives a “snapshot” of the scope and focus of climate science-related research in selected public research institutions over the last five years across all 50 states and U.S. territories, according to a news release. More than 10,00 studies from 80 universities were examined, according to the release.

The report is designed to serve as a resource to help decision-makers to design policies that are responsive to the challenges facing their regions, according to the release.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in Dec. 4 remarks on the Senate floor that the study highlights the breadth and the depth of climate science in state universities.

In particular, he said the 12 universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah in the study show real-time effects” of climate change, like drought and wildfire, and point to direct links between tree mortality, drought, and climate. 

“We in this country depend on the Southwest for more than half of our specialty crops--vegetables, fruits, and nuts--so we have to pay attention when drought threatens all of those,” Whitehouse said.

The lawkmaker said climate science studies show that “what we face is irrefutable and that its consequences will be catastrophic and irreversible if we keep monkeying around and failing to act.”