U.S. impacts of climate change are intensifying, federal report says
A massive report issued by the Trump administration on Friday emphasizes the dire threat that human-caused global warming poses to the United States and its citizens.
“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities,” researchers say in the report, officially Volume II of the National Climate Assessment. (Volume I was released last year.)
The 1,600-page report details the climate and economic impacts U.S. residents will see if drastic action is not taken to address climate change.
“The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future,” the researchers say.
The last few years have smashed records for damaging weather in the United States, costing nearly $400 billion since 2015. In a worst-case scenario, the researchers say, climate change could deliver a 10 percent hit to the nation’s GDP by the end of the century.
Climate change threatens the health and well-being of the American people by causing increasing extreme weather, changes to air quality, the spread of new diseases by insects and pests and changes to the availability of food and water, the researchers say.
Report co-author Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University said it shows the dangerous weather that scientists said will happen in the United States is already happening.
This is the fourth National Climate Assessment. It was mandated by Congress in the late 1980s and is prepared every four years by the nation’s top scientists from 13 agencies. It’s meant as a reference for the president, Congress and the public.