By Laura Barron-Lopez - 12/03/13 12:33 PM EST
New monitoring capabilities are necessary in combating and anticipating abrupt changes in the climate, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The new National Research Council report highlights climate changes the United States and other nations are not prepared to handle.
"Some surprises in the climate system may be inevitable, but with improved scientific monitoring and a better understanding of the climate system it could be possible to anticipate abrupt change before it occurs and reduce the potential consequences," the report says.
NOAA sponsored the study along with members of the U.S. intelligence community and other agencies.
The report recommends an "abrupt change early warning system" that would predict and possibly mitigate changes like rising sea levels and natural disasters before they impact regions of the globe.
In all, the new report dives into more than a dozen types of changes to lands, oceans and the atmosphere, with some already underway.
Examples highlighted by the report include warmer Arctic temperatures, leading to a rapid decline in sea ice during the last decade.
Another rapid change is the increased possibility of plant and animal species going extinct.
Such changes call for an early warning system, the report says.
"The organizational structure of an abrupt change early warning system would capitalize on existing programs, but will also need to capture the interconnectedness of climate and human systems," it adds.