Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Climate change is already happening in the US

The Federal National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee issued a report on May 6 about climate change, known as the National Climate Assessment, the New York Times reports.

Percent changes in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (the heaviest 1%) from 1958 to 2012 for each region. There is a clear national trend toward a greater amount of precipitation being concentrated in very heavy events, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. (Figure source: updated from Karl et al. 2009).

The report, the first such report since 2009, is mandated by Act of Congress. Over 300 scientists contributed to the report and 60 reviewed it. Climate change in the US, blamed primarily on human behavior, has had a significant impact on the economy, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, torrential rains have increased in wet parts of the country, while water has grown scarcer in dry regions. Heat waves have become more common and hotter, causing wildfires that swallow homes to spring up and insects that thrive in heat to kill forests at an increasing rate.

But while much of the climate change happens at the hands of us humans, the report makes a strong point that it’s not too late to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane from energy production.

“This national climate assessment is the loudest and clearest alarm bell to date signaling the need to take urgent action,” the Journal quoted John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology, as saying during a press call on the report.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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