Obama Administration Releases Third National Climate Assessment

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By Glynn Wilson

The Obama Administration released the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment report on Tuesday, May 6, calling it “the most authoritative and comprehensive source of scientific information to date about climate-change impacts across all U.S. regions and on critical sectors of the economy.”

The report, a key part of President Obama’s so-called “Climate Action Plan,” confirms that climate change is not a distant threat.

“It’s affecting us now,” the report says.

Believe it. Or not.

The report cites wide and severe impacts across the U.S., including rising sea-levels, an increase in severe flooding and storm surges, a radical increase in precipitation and heat waves even in the Northeast. It also points to frequent water shortages and hurricanes in the Southeast and the Caribbean and more droughts and wildfires in the Southwest.

The report was produced with the help of hundreds of academic and government experts to guide the develop of U.S. policy based on the best available climate science. Backing up the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists in the U.S. said that the climate is changing in this country already and that the warming of the past 50 years was primarily caused by emissions of heat-trapping gases released by humans from the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal.

By the end of the century temperatures could be up to 5 degrees hotter, even if the nation acts aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If ignored and not addressed, average surface temperatures could rise by up to 10 degrees.

The report says the decade beginning in 2000, the year George W. Bush was elevated to the White House and began his campaign of deregulation, was the hottest on record, while 2012, the year Hurricane Sandy came in the wake of an epic summer drought, was the hottest ever recorded in the nation’s history.

Average temperatures in the U.S. are now 1.3 degrees to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit higher now than they were in 1895. Most of that increase, 80 percent, came in the past 44 years.

To learn more, watch this video as Dr. John Holdren, President Obama’s Science Advisor, introduces the National Climate Assessment and discusses President Obama’s climate action plan, which takes an “all of the above” energy approach towards combatting climate change now.

Also check out this Website for more information.

© 2014, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.