Takeaways From the National Climate Assessment

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Takeaways From the National Climate Assessment

U.S. Global Change Research Program

U.S. Global Change Research Program

U.S. Global Change Research Program

Grace Fiori, Senior Editor

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The fourth national climate assessment was released last month, revealing information that came as a surprise to many concerning the extent and influence of climate change in America. The goal of the report was to study and analyze the impact of global warming and climate change as a whole has had on the United States and its citizens throughout the entire twenty-first century. While the extensive report as a whole contains essential information and revelations about global warming, below are excerpts that highlight main takeaways. 

  1. “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities,” 
  2. “While Americans are responding in ways that can bolster resilience and improve livelihoods, neither global efforts to mitigate the causes of climate change nor regional efforts to adapt to the impacts currently approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.” 
  3. There is extensive evidence that that global average temperature is much higher, and is rising more rapidly, than anything modern civilization has experienced…” 
  4. Proof that humans are responsible for major aspects of climate change is, “…overwhelming…[and] that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’ physical, social, and economic well-being are rising,” 
  5. Climate change is changing the range of insects that could possibly carry diseases, increasing people in North America’s exposure to Lyme disease through ticks, “and mosquitoes that transmit viruses such as West Nile…and Zika” 
  6. In cities, climate change could disrupt food supplies, safety precautions against natural weather events, especially among, “those who already experience food insecurity”, such as those in low-income urban areas. 
  7. “The frequency and severity of allergic illnesses, including asthma and hay fever, are expected to increase as a result of a changing climate” 
  8. “Rising temperatures are expected to reduce electricity generation capacity while increasing energy demands and costs, which can in turn lead to power outages and blackouts  These changes strain household budgets, increase people’s exposure to heat, and limit delivery of medical and social services.” 

It is easy to dismiss the assessment simply because it can appear to be overwhelming, but its findings, carefully curated and collected by multiple agencies and organizations in the United States government, reveals a startling truth; our reality is one we can no longer ignore. America is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change, and it will only get worse. To educate yourself on the analysis is to take the first step in reversing these effects, and creating a better future for our world. Read the full report here

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