Update in italics.
Climate change is real and its effects are already being felt by communities across the US, impacting human health and threatening economic stability, according to a major government climate report released today.
“U.S. residents are now being forced to cope with dangerously high temperatures, rising seas, deadly wildfires, torrential rainfalls, and devastating hurricanes. The report concludes that these climate-related impacts will only get worse and their costs will mount dramatically if carbon emissions continue unabated,” said report author Brenda Ekwurzel in a statement.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) report is a federally-mandated climate assessment produced every four years by more than 300 independent and government scientists using the best available science to “understand, assess, predict, and respond to” climate change.
On Monday, Trump dismissed the report because he “doesn’t believe it” – and it’s not the first time. In fact, the 45th President has quite the history of belittling climate science (see here, here, and most recently, here). Some publications speculate that the Black Friday release may have been a move by the Trump Administration to "bury" the report – one that ultimately backfired given the extensive international coverage it was given.
“This report makes it clear that climate change is not some problem in the distant future. It’s happening right now in every part of the country. When people say the wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves they’re experiencing are unlike anything they’ve seen before, there’s a reason for that, and it’s called climate change,” said Ekwurzel.
The report comes just a day after the United Nations said greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have hit a new high and, though no recommendations are put forth in its 1,500 pages, it takes a firm stance on the need to mitigate the effects of climate change before it’s too late.