The Obama Administration on Tuesday released its third National Climate Assessment for the United States and the report says climate change is affecting every region of the country and key sectors of the U.S. economy.
Certain types of extreme weather events with links to climate change have become more frequent and/or intense, including prolonged periods of heat, heavy downpours, and in some regions, floods and droughts, the report says.
“In addition, warming is causing sea level to rise and glaciers and Arctic sea ice to melt, and oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide. These and other aspects of climate change are disrupting people's lives and damaging some sectors of our economy,” the National Climate Assessment reads.
In the Northeast, the report found a significant increase in torrential rains and risks from a rising sea that could lead to a repeat of the kind of flooding seen during Hurricane Sandy. In the Southwest, water shortages seen to date will worsen.
In the Northwest, the effects of sea level rise and increasing ocean acidity collectively pose a major threat to the region. The Southwest will see increased warming, drought and insect outbreaks, with an increase in wildfires.
The report did find some benefits from climate change in the short run, particularly for the Midwest, such as a longer growing season for crops and a longer shipping season on the Great Lakes.
The report is the result of a three-year analytical effort by a team of more than 300 climate scientists and experts, informed by inputs gathered through more than 70 technical workshops and stakeholder listening sessions held across the country.
Not surprisingly, the report, as with the issue of climate change, triggered reactions from both sides of the issue.
A report by the Huffington Post cites “The 5 Scariest Charts InThe New National Climate Assessment;” an opinion piece on Fox News is headlined “National Climate Assessment report: Alarmists offer untrue, unrelenting doom and gloom.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News focused on the business angle with its report, “Industry Sees Costly Rules After Obama’s Climate Report.”
The Obama administration wants to maximize the impact of the climate report to create a sense of urgency among Americans about climate change — and thus to build political support for a contentious new regulation that President Obama plans to issue in June, reads a report by The New York Times.