Climate change could cost U.S. billions, worsen disasters

Mario Tama  Getty Images FILE

Mario Tama Getty Images FILE

"The findings in the Trump administration's NCA report show how the health and daily lives of Americans are becoming more and more interrupted because of climate change". By century's end, the report projects thousands of additional deaths annually from worsening heat waves and air pollution, as well as declining crop yields and the loss of key coral reef and sea ice ecosystems. The last report came in 2014.

The report also warns of economic consequences of inaction. Without substantial global emissions reductions and local adaptation measures, the report says, "climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century".

The report says climate change will cost the USA economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, damaging everything from human health to infrastructure and agricultural production.

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. He also pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord.

Other vulnerable populations include minority groups, people in high-income regions, women and people with mental illnesses since they all lack the resources and information needed to safeguard themselves from the risks of climate change, the report said.

The report, like many before it, stresses the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and investing in renewable energy technology before it's too late.

While surveying the devastating damage caused by the deadly California fires, President Donald Trump was asked last week whether the experience altered his views on climate change.

Releasing the report on Black Friday "is a transparent attempt by the Trump Administration to bury this report and continue the campaign of not only denying but suppressing the best of climate science", said study co-author Andrew Light, an worldwide policy expert at the World Resources Institute.

Mr Trump and several members of his Cabinet have also repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, arguing the causes and impacts are not yet settled.

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The second volume's release comes just one day after President Trump tweeted, "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?".

According to the New York Times' analysis of the Congressionally-mandated report, which is required by law to be produced every four years, "if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century's end".

Those with allergy-related illnesses, like asthma and hay fever, could see an increase in severity because of climate change, it said.

By the end of the century, the US will be 3 to 12 degrees (1.6 to 6.6 degrees Celsius) hotter depending on how much greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, the report warns.

While the report was initially scheduled to be released next month, CNN reported, the Trump administration decided to make it public on Friday afternoon - during a holiday weekend.

During a press conference Friday, authors of the report said there had been "no external interference" in the assessment.

"No matter how hard they try, the Trump administration can't bury the effects of climate change in a Black Friday news dump - effects their own federal government scientists have uncovered", Sen. It's us. It's here. So: "act now", Hayhoe tweeted.

Trump has praised the use of fossil fuels in the past, and the administration stood by this on Friday.

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