This is significant, in that it is reported by the Wall Street Journal, an MSM newspaper, We know they’re getting serious, when the title mentions threats to the culture’s “bottom line,” money (“the economy”).
White House Says Urgent Action Needed
The congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, produced by more than 300 experts overseen by a panel of 60 scientists, concludes that the nation has already suffered billions of dollars in damages from severe weather-related disruptions, which it says will continue to get worse.
The document, considered the most comprehensive analysis of the effects of climate change on the U.S., is to be released by the climate advisory panel after a final vote Tuesday morning. President Barack Obama is planning to promote it in a series of events this week calling for action to combat the trend, and using the report to bring public attention to climate change-related problems.
Here’s the story, in Sunday’s paper, May 4th, theguardian.
National Climate Assessment, to be launched at White House on Tuesday, says effects of climate change are now being felt
“There is no question our climate is changing,” said Don Wuebbles, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois and a lead author of the assessment. “It is changing at a factor of 10 times more than naturally.”
Record-breaking heat – even at night – is expected to produce more drought and fuel larger and more frequent wildfires in the south-west, the report says. The north-east, midwest and Great Plains states will see an increase in heavy downpours and a greater risk of flooding.
“Parts of the country are getting wetter, parts are getting drier. All areas are getting hotter,” said Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change at the US Geological Survey. “The changes are not the same everywhere.”
Those living on the Atlantic seaboard, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska who have weathered the effects of sea level rise and storm surges can expect to see more. Residents of coastal cities, especially in Florida where there is already frequent flooding during rainstorms, can expect to see more. So can people living in inland cities sited on rivers.
Some changes are already having a measurable effect on food production and public health, the report will say.
John Balbus, senior adviser at the National Institute of Environmenal Health Science and a lead author of the NCA report, said rising temperatures increased the risk of heat stroke and heat-related deaths.
Eugene Takle, convening lead author of the agriculture chapter of the NCA report, and director of the Climate Science programme at Iowa State University, said heatwaves and changes in rainfall had resulted in a levelling off in wheat and corn production and would eventually cause declines.
In California, warmer winters have made it difficult to grow cherries. In the midwest, wetter springs have delayed planting. Invasive vines such as kudzu have spread northward, from the south to the Canadian border.
Some of the effects on agriculture, such as a longer growing season, are positive. But Takle said: “By mid-century and beyond the overall impacts will be increasingly negative on most crops and livestock.”
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.