Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Climate change 'not a distant threat,' White House warns

Tanya Lewis in LiveScience: From longer and hotter summers to heavier downpours to more coastal flooding, the effects of human-induced climate change are already hitting every region of the United States and the U.S. economy, a government report finds.

These extreme weather events will likely only get worse, experts say. The Northeast will experience more heat waves, extreme precipitation and coastal flooding caused by storm surge. The Midwest can expect hotter weather and increased demand for water and energy. And the Southwest will suffer hotter, drier weather and more wildfires, according to the third National Climate Assessment (NCA) released by the White House today (May 6).

"Climate change is not a distant threat — it's already affecting every region of the country and economy," John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said today at a news conference. [8 Ways Global Warming Is Already Changing the World]

The report reveals how regional impacts of climate change will affect health, agriculture, energy, water and transportation, said Jerry Melillo, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and chair of the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.

"For decades, we've been connecting the dots about climate change," Melillo said at the news conference. "Now, we have connected those dots."....

Sunset at White Pocket in Arizona, shot by John Fowler, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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