Climate change: Government report predicts 'substantial damages' on US lives

Climate change: Government report predicts 'substantial damages' on US lives

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. The phenomenon is already disrupting local communities in the US, and could cost the USA economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year without a significant effort to stop it, researchers found.

Sea level changes "might reshape the U.S. population distribution", says the report, entitled the National Climate Assessment.

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.

It is unclear how the report will be greeted by the Trump administration, and particularly the White House.

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.

That the White House opted to release the long-awaited update on climate change ― which Congress mandates the administration provide every four years ― on Black Friday, a popular shopping holiday the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, indicates it wanted fewer people to see the news about the findings.

On Friday, scientists working for his administration gave Trump a stark answer: climate change is a menace that threatens the wellbeing of the United States.

Some $1 trillion in coastal real estate is threatened by rising sea levels, storm surges and high-tide flooding exacerbated by climate change, according to the report.

"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". And the administration has sought to downplay the significance of man-made climate change, scrapped a slew of regulations created to address the issue and changed the country's climate posture in the global arena with a promise to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

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While it said that numerous impacts of climate change - including more frequent and more powerful storms, droughts and flooding - were already underway, the projections of further damage could change if greenhouse gas emissions were sharply curbed.

The assessment leaves no doubt that humans are to blame for the changing climate, and that extent of the harm we will experience depends on decisions we make today.

"Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?" he posted Wednesday on Twitter.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said the new report was "largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that.there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population".

The air pollution from wildfires combined with heat waves is a major future health risk for the west, the report says.

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

In a statement released Friday, former Vice President Al Gore criticized the timing of the report's release.

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