By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press
A federally funded report on changing climate conditions released today warns of dire consequences throughout the United States in coming years unless significant actions are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The National Climate Assessment, a 1,300-page report compiled by 300 leading scientists and experts, says the climate is changing in the United States almost without a doubt, and the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to emissions of heat-trapping gases released by humans. By the end of the century the scientists forecast temperatures that could be up to 5 degrees higher if the nation acts aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry, or up to 10 degrees if emissions are high.
It warns that climate change poses devastating consequences across regions of the United States when it comes to the economy, public health, transportation, energy, water and agriculture attributable to increased heat waves and coastal flooding in the Northeast, decreased water availability in the Southeast, extreme heat waves in the Midwest, damage to agriculture in the Great Plains and wildfires and water scarcity in the Southwest.
The account is the result of four years of research, with input from from 70 workshops around the nation, guided by a 60-member panel called the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.
Via the Guardian:
“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” a draft version of the report says. The evidence is visible everywhere from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, it goes on….
…The assessments are the American equivalent of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. This year’s report for the first time looks at what America has done to fight climate change or protect people from its consequences in the future.
Under an act of Congress the reports were supposed to be produced every four years, but no report was produced during George W Bush’s presidency.
Meanwhile, over at Fox News
Via Media Matters:
“Tomorrow, President Obama is going to do interviews with meteorologists all across the country about a new climate change report…I hope they ask him about Benghazi!”
— Fox News host Dana Perino, continuing the network’s zealous coverage of the 2012 attacks on Monday’s “The Five.”
Here in San Diego, where we’ve just gone through an unusual heat wave, a KPBS story on the Mayor’s proposed budget for next year notes one of the items not being funded was a program manager for the climate action plan being developed by Environmental and Economic Sustainability Task Force.
The good news is that libraries will be open for longer hours in case senior citizens need somewhere to go to beat the heat.
Also not up for consideration are proposals for staff to monitor the city’s living wage ordinance.