Published: Sat, November 24, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

On a press call, officials suggested the new release date was timed so the report would come ahead of two important climate-related conferences in December: the United Nations climate change conference in Poland and the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

But the report issued Friday said that "warmer and drier conditions have contributed to an increase in large forest fires in the western United States and interior Alaska".

The report says warming-charged extremes "have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration".

"Future risks from climate change depend primarily on decisions made today", it says.

"The impacts of climate change beyond our borders are expected to increasingly affect our trade and economy, including import and export prices and USA businesses with overseas operations and supply chains".

"With the lives and health of millions of Americans at risk from worsened hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and air pollution, we urge President Trump and his administration to heed the dire warnings in this report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources to save American lives", said Harold P. Wimmer, national president of the American Lung Assn.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which almost every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions.

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"Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century", it said.

The report lays out the impacts of climate change on natural resources and environmental services in USA territories from Puerto Rico to the country's Midwest region, which comprises 18 percent of the country's GDP through agricultural production. "That means we have to focus on us", he said.

"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 of many USA states", according to the report.

"This report makes it clear that climate change is not some problem in the distant future". The move is widely seen as an attempt to bury the report's findings.

The scientists who worked on the report implored the USA not to ignore greenhouse gas emissions, which are expected to cause "substantial net damage" to the country's economy throughout the century.

Citing numerous studies, the report says more than 90 percent of the current warming is caused by humans. "As a climate scientist it is nearly surreal".

The Trump administration has rolled back several environmental regulations put in place during former President Barack Obama's administration and has promoted the production of fossil fuels. President Trump has been vocal in his skepticism about man-made climate change and the effects it is allegedly having both on temperatures and extreme weather events. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement. "Our actions are the result of climate change, but our actions will be the solution".

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