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Feds: Americans in danger due to climate change

Published time: May 06, 2014 19:36
AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

Global warming is already have significant effects in every region of the United States, forcing cities and states to spend large amounts of money in order to adapt to a climate that will likely worsen, a new government report states.

According to the Associated Press, the US Global Change Research Program’s latest report states that the various effects of global warming in the US – more flooding, longer droughts, and more – "are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond.”

"Climate change is not a distant threat," said John Holdren of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to CNN. "It already is affecting every region of the country and key sectors of the economy."

Released on Tuesday, the National Climate Assessment paints a stark picture regarding what the US climate will look like moving forward. Rising sea levels on the American coasts are one major area of concern, with the report projecting they will rise at least one foot by the end of the century. Some cities, such as Miami, Florida, are already suffering from increased flooding, and are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to combat the issue.

Moving further inland, there will be risks associated with stronger heat waves and longer drought seasons in the Southwest and Great Plains, which could cause a spike in wildfires. Already, states like Oklahoma are suffering some of the driest periods in their recorded history, while California recently experienced its warmest January on record.

According to the Huffington Post, average temperatures across the US have increased somewhere between 1.3 – 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1985. Within the last four years, 43 states have reported at least one new monthly record for heat.

The problems aren’t just related to heat, however. Heavier downpours were also linked to climate change in the assessment, with the authors noting a 71 percent increase in “very heavy” storms in the Northeast.

"Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present," the report states, according to the AP. "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."

Despite the fact that climate change has already arrived, the authors said there is still time to keep the worst consequences at bay. If significant action isn’t taken soon, though, the cost of dealing with the problem will grow rapidly – hundreds of billions of dollars by the year 2100 will be required to deal with flooding alone.

"The climate hazards are looking as severe as ever, but I think there is a message contained in the report that our ability to respond is about getting going," Columbia University’s Radley Horton said to the Huffington Post. "The question is, are we able to meet the challenges, given the growing understanding of how much the climate could change this century?"

Comments (18)


Jim Spriggs 25.05.2014 08:04

I appreciate Kesha Rogers' anti-Wall Street populism, her opposition to the Patriot Act and opposing the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, but her affiliation with Lyndon LaRouche places her in the "nut" category. LaRouche-ism makes sense in some ways but in others, it's Woo-Woo Land.
NAWAPA, a scheme to redistribute water from the Canadian northwest to the water-challenged western U.S. died out in the 1970s because of its potential to destroy vast pristine wilderness, submerge whole towns, and cause untold rights & treaty issues. 5 nuclear power plants were proposed to push water over the Rockies.


Jim Spriggs 25.05.2014 07:18

Well, there's no fooling you people commenting below. I guess the Obama Global Warming Conspiracy Liars are going to have to get up even earlier in the morning to fool you smart people who know a scam when you see one--like the scam that has us fighting against each other to grab the last crumb while the corporate rich stand over us and pull our strings.

No , there's no fooling you people who know better than to listen to thousands of conspiring, greedy climate scientists who tell us when we add CO2 to the atmosphere it causes global warming and in turn, that causes climate change--as in radical rain, drought, temps.


Lee 22.05.2014 05:25

I say do what Kesha Rogers is talking about. Develop high energy for desalination of ocean water and build NAWAPA . It's not a problem if you fix it.

View all comments (18)
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