The US government has published a new report on the impact of climage change—and the outlook is extremely dire. The latest National Climate Assessment, the fourth federally mandated study released every four years since 1990, makes it clear—for skeptics like President Trump—that climate change is happening now and is directly responsible for the increase in intensity and frequency of devastating phenomena such as hurricanes, heat waves, and wildfires.
Around 1,000 people from the US Global Change Research Program, which encompasses 13 federal agencies, were involved in putting together the study, including 300 leading scientists both from inside and outside the government. It’s the second of two volumes, the first having concluded last November that the only convincing explanation for climate change is “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases.” The findings come after an October report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the crucial threshold temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) may be reached as early as 2030—bringing with it catastrophic species loss, coral die-offs, and extreme weather.
A wide range of impacts are detailed in the 1,500-page report: climate change will cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually; crop yields will drop dramatically; mosquito- and tickborne diseases will become more widespread; wildfire and drought seasons will be longer and more consequential; the list goes on and on. The report also concludes that as the Arctic finally loses all of its sea ice in late summer, the permafrost will thaw faster, releasing carbon dioxide and methane, and amplifying warming, “possibly significantly.”
Only on Wednesday, as some Americans faced the coldest Thanksgiving in over 100 years, Donald Trump tweeted, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?” This report provides the grim answer.
Read more here.
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