Climate change: Report warns of growing impact on United States life

New York City Skyline

New York City Skyline

US President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, US, June 1, 2017. "Whatever happened to Global Warming?" he asked on Twitter. Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump antagonized climate scientists by tweeting, once again, that he believes cold weather disproves long-term trends of a warming climate. The report notes the last few years have smashed USA records for damaging weather, costing almost $400 billion since 2015. The report often clashes with the president's past statements and tweets on the legitimacy of climate change science, how much of it is caused by humans, how cyclical it is and what's causing increases in recent wildfires. And those consequences are stark.

The federal government on Friday released a long-awaited report with an unmistakable message: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening.

When it comes to health, the report says increasing water and air temperatures and more intense extreme events are expected to heighten exposure "to waterborne and foodborne diseases, affecting food and water safety".

The report is the second volume of a non-partisan work of science mandated by Congress to inform policymakers about the reality of global warming, and it represents a sweeping view of the scientific consensus.

"All climate change is local", said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Richard Alley, who wasn't part of the report but praised it.

"I think President Trump is obviously afraid of what administration is reporting", Levine said.

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Climate change is also projected to increase the frequency and severity of allergic illnesses, including asthma and hay fever. The White House report quietly issued today also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. It was originally scheduled for December.

"A warm, dry climate has increased the areas burned over the last 20 years", he said at a press conference Friday.

"Without more significant global greenhouse gas mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause substantial losses to infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century", the report says, arguing that sectors that require national resources and favorable climates - such as agriculture, tourism and fishing, are particularly vulnerable. Communities also need to advance measures to adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.

It's the sort of staggering reality the Trump administration seems eager to minimize. But, in a bright spot, the report also references local and global action to reduce emissions, even while acknowledging those efforts won't be enough.

After taking office he announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, which commits another 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels.

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