Report outlines problems USA will likely face from climate change

Climate change could cost US'hundreds of billions a year study

Climate change could cost US'hundreds of billions a year study

The federal government Friday released a long-awaited report with an unmistakable message: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening.

Coupled with some of the highest rates of ocean warming and sea level rise in the nation, the Northeast is already experiencing changes to the environment and ecosystems that are increasing risks to its people, infrastructure and economy, the report says.

"Climate change is already affecting every part of the United States, nearly every sector of the United States, be it agriculture or forestry or energy, tourism", says George Mason University professor Andrew Light, who is one of the report's editors.

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump's agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

A new report analyzes the impacts climate change is having in the U.S. now, and what the country could look like by 2100.

There will be more mosquito- and tickborne diseases like zika, dengue and chikungunya.

"The message is loud, clear and undeniable: climate impacts are here and growing, World Resources Institute US Director Dan Lashof told IANS".

But it added that projections of further damage could change if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply curbed, even though numerous impacts of climate change - including more frequent and more powerful storms, droughts and flooding - are already under way.

'This is an opportunity for people from across the globe, regardless of their nationality or circumstances, to be part of the most important discussion of this century; the unprecedented action needed to reach the Paris Agreement targets.

For example, the report predicts that in the years from 2070-2099, the USA will see 20% more precipitation in winter and spring for the north central U.S., and a 20% decrease in the southwest in spring.

Climate change is already hurting the global economy and will cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars annually by century's end unless drastic action is taken to cut carbon emissions, a major United States government report warned on Friday.

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Climate adaptation is already taking place at the local, state and regional level, the report says.

The Lower 48 states have warmed 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) since 1900 with 1.2 degrees in the last few decades, according to the repot.

The report also finds that the USA will be 3-12 degrees hotter by the end of the century, depending on how much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere.

Earlier this month, the president showed his scepticism of climate change in a tweet that suggests Mr Trump links global warming exclusively to warm weather.

The studies clash with policy under President Donald Trump, who has been rolling back Obama-era environmental and climate protections to maximize production of domestic fossil fuels, including crude oil, already the highest in the world, above Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.

Some suspected that the release of the National Climate Assessment was timed to bury the news in the middle of the long Thanksgiving weekend and the Black Friday holiday shopping rush.

Light said it's impossible not to conclude that the timing is meant to hide the report from public view.

"It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century", according to that report.

"We're putting a cost on inaction", explains Ekwurzel, referring to future global inaction to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

All of these changes, and the many others projected - including more severe storms, changes in growing seasons, and impacts on infrastructure - could majorly hurt the economy.

"There are no credible alternative human or natural explanations supported by the observational evidence", the report says.

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