Climate Impacts Threaten Nearly Every Aspect of Life in U.S., Government Report Says

Climate Impacts Threaten Nearly Every Aspect of Life in U.S., Government Report Says

Climate change is threatening nearly every aspect of American life, according to a draft of a federal report on Monday.

Extreme weather conditions are becoming more frequent and severe in the country. These include wildfires, hurricanes heat waves, droughts, floods, heat waves and heat waves. Warming is threatening water supplies and food supplies, energy systems, natural eco-systems, human health, and food supplies. Coastal communities are being eroded by rising sea levels.

Many of the nation’s most vulnerable residents are suffering the worst effects, including low-income individuals and people of color.

” “As climate risks continue their increase in frequency and scale, multiple climate hazards are disrupting essential social systems in every corner of the country,” states the report.

This draft is the fifth installment in the National Climate Assessment ,, a congressionally mandated report that was produced by the U.S. The Global Change Research Program evaluates the impact of climate change on the United States. The previous installment was published in 2018.

The final report will probably be published sometime in 2023. Drafts of the final report are being circulated for public comment and include contributions from dozens upon dozens of scientists.

The report details the increasing threats to American society in some the most stark terms ever seen in periodic assessments. The United States has warmed by 2.5 degrees F in the past 1970,, compared to 1.6 degrees worldwide during the same period. According to the report, climate change is “far-reaching” and “worsening”. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions even more immediately in order to prevent worse outcomes.

Intensifying extreme weather are one of the most serious and broad-ranging threats to American lives. They not only cause destruction to property and lives, but also pose a growing threat to the nation’s economy, health, food, and water supplies.

Extreme Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the nation. It is especially dangerous for elderly, unhoused, or people with preexisting medical conditions. The country’s air quality is affected by wildfire smoke. Drought can threaten water supplies, especially in the Colorado River Basin and other parts west of the United States.

The draft report focuses on the unjust climate change burden. Low-income communities are often ill-prepared to face the consequences of a warming planet after decades of inadequate investment in critical infrastructure. Older insulation is less able to cope with rising energy prices due to climate change. The report found that low-income and minority communities have lower tree cover, more pavement, and more air pollution, making them more susceptible to extreme heat and more susceptible to adverse health effects.

The emphasis on equity reflects a new push by the climate science community, to bridge physical and socio sciences and better understand how people experience warming, said Paul Ullrich (University of California, Davis) who contributed to the report.

” While physical science is well-understood at this point, we don’t know how climate change is driving inequality and impacting different demographics and income groups. “This understanding is essential for the decision making, especially in regard to adaptation planning .”

The report places price tags on the climate damage America is experiencing. A dramatic increase in climate disasters and weather events costs the United States billions of dollars every three weeks. The country experienced an average of eight $1 billion weather events per year. In the past four years, it has experienced 80.

These figures are due to the rising temperatures in the United States. Global temperatures have increased faster in the last 50 years than at any point in the last 2,000 years. The United States is warming 68 percent faster than the world on the whole, though some scientists said that is not particularly surprising. Land heats up faster than water and a lot of the planet is covered in oceans.

But the results have been devastating for the United States. The drought gripping the West is the most severe in the last 1,200 years. Wildfires in modern times are more common and severe than they were in the past two millennia.

” Many Americans’ primary experience with climate change is through extreme events.” The draft report states. Climate change is causing many extremes such as heatwaves and heavy precipitation, drought, flooding and wildfires to become more frequent and more severe.

The draft report, which is a departure from previous editions, stated that scientists can now quantify climate change’s impact on individual weather events with high confidence thanks to scientific modeling.

Zeke Hausfather was a climate scientist at Stripe and contributed to the report. He pointed out the heat dome that covered much of the Pacific Northwest in 2021.. He said that the searing temperatures would have been impossible in a cooler planet.

But, with global temperatures rising, “It opens the possibility for events to be more extreme than in a world without climate changes,” he stated.

Climate changes will be felt across the country in the next decade, although the impacts may vary by region, the draft document stated. The Northeast is experiencing increasing risks to its critical infrastructure and shifting habitat ranges, particularly in the ocean. Rising temperatures and decreasing snowpack in the northern Great Plains are threatening water supplies and threatening livelihoods in agriculture and recreation. Intensifying droughts in the Southwest threaten livestock and agricultural production.

The draft report gives a preview of the United States if temperatures rose by 2 degrees Celsius. Alaskan winter temperatures would increase by almost 9 F. The southern Great Plains would see eight more days above 105 F each year, while the Southeast would see six more days above 100 F annually.

Despite the dire predictions, the draft report shows that there are ways to mitigate the worst effects of a warming planet. It is similar to other recent reports, which state that the world is on track for less than 3 C warming, a significant improvement over previous decades. Hausfather stated that worse outcomes are possible.

” While we should plan for the best outcome, we should also consider the worst-case scenarios,” he stated.

Reprinted from E&E News with permission from P

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