Global warming: More extreme weather predicted for U.S., federal report says
Global warming is affecting where and how Americans live and work, and evidence is mounting that burning fossil fuels has made extreme weather such as heat waves and heavy precipitation much more likely in the USA, according to a massive federal report released Tuesday at the White House.
"Climate change is here and now, and not in some distant time or place," said Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, one of the authors of the 1,100-page National Climate Assessment (NCA), the largest, most comprehensive U.S.-focused climate change report ever produced.
"The choices we're making today will have a significant impact on our future," Hayhoe said.
The assessment was prepared by hundreds of the USA's top scientists. It agreed with a recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the planet is warming, mostly because of human activity.
"Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience," the U.S. report stated. "So, too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from Phoenix to New York and native peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska."
While scientists continue to refine projections of the future climate, observations unequivocally show that the climate is changing and that the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. These emissions come mainly from the burning of coal, oil, and gas, the report states.
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Contributing: Associated Press