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Climate Change May Push Millions From Coasts and US Isn’t Ready

24 November 2018
Climate Change May Push Millions From Coasts and US Isn’t Ready

The National Climate Assessment warns that extreme weather and climate-related events in the USA are worsening, and it reveals the economic and health toll of climate change. Without substantial global emissions reductions and local adaptation measures, the report says, "climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century".

"Future risks from climate change depend. on decisions made today", the 4th National Climate Assessment said.

The document's release was important in tackling a misconception by Americans that the changing climate doesn't harm them personally, instead "showing how climate change is already affecting each one of us, whether we live in Texas or Minnesota or Hawai'i or Florida", said Hayhoe, the Texas Tech climate scientist.

The federal government on Friday quietly released a major report warning man-made climate change is real and already having a devastating impact on the United States - just days after President Trump mocked the idea of global warming.

The federal report says the last few years have smashed records for damaging weather in the United States, costing almost $US400 billion ($553 billion) since 2015.

The report is mandated by law every few years and is based on more than 1,000 previous research studies. Trump has vowed to pull out of the worldwide Paris climate agreement, while seeking to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that climate change is accelerating and caused by human activity.

And Donald Wuebbles, a co-author from University of IL climate scientist, said, "We're going to continue to see severe weather events get stronger and more intense".

The report notes that the effects of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country, including more frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events.

"Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities", the report says.

That includes worsening air pollution causing heart and lung problems, more diseases from insects, the potential for a jump in deaths during heat waves, and nastier allergies.

The report's authors, who represent more than a dozen federal agencies, detail expected economic impact.

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

"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 (GDP) of many USA states", the report said.

Trump tweeted this week about the cold weather hitting the East including: "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?" 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.

"The Bush, Obama and now Trump Administrations have all published reports showing the current and future impacts to the United States from climate change".

During a press conference Friday, officials behind the report repeatedly declined to answer questions about the timing of its release and why it contradicts public statements from Trump.