Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

Randal Sanchez
November 24, 2018

The report warns that the frequency of wildfires could increase if climate change is unchecked.

The report says warming-charged extremes "have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration".

A report released in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the leading worldwide body evaluating climate change - said it could only be stopped if the world made major, and costly, changes.

Scientists, writers of the latest report, questioned the White House's timing of the release, as the day after Thanksgiving typically attracts less attention on the news front due to the holiday. It also warns that the effects of climate change will get worse unless sustained efforts are taken to cut carbon emissions.

"With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century - more than the current gross domestic product of many USA states", the report concluded. As the urgency of climate change continues to grow, leaders in other countries (as well as mayors and governors in the U.S.) have promised to double down on their efforts, largely leaving the US - and, by extension, Trump - by the wayside as the world adapts to changes driven by global warming. It is written by outside scientists and officials from 13 federal agencies.

However, David Reidmiller, the director of the assessment, said the timing was in order to have the report come out ahead of United Nations climate talks, which begin in Poland on December 2, according to Axios.

Trump, administration officials and elected Republicans frequently say they can't tell how much of climate change is caused by humans and how much is natural.

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These studies clash with policy under President Donald Trump.

Trump has vowed to pull out of the global Paris climate agreement, while seeking to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that climate change is accelerating and caused by human activity.

Climate change is already hurting the global economy and will cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars by century's end unless drastic action is taken to cut carbon emissions, said a United States government report, which he White House called inaccurate.

In response to the report, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said it was "largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that. there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population".

The report, which is mandated by law, "concludes that the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans' physical, social, and economic well-being are rising". New Jersey, Massachusetts, and NY "are anticipated to see large outflows of migrants, a pattern that would stress regional locations further inland", the authors write in the report, which was prepared by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.

"Low-income communities and some communities of color are often already overburdened with poor environmental conditions and are disproportionately affected by, and less resilient to, the health impacts of climate change", the report stated.

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