Friday, May 09, 2014

AMERICA - National Climate Change Assessment for U.S.

"White House report warns how climate change will directly influence the lives of Americans" PBS NewsHour 5/6/2014


GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  The U.S. government released today its most comprehensive report on climate change yet, and the forecast is far from sunny.

GARY YOHE, Lead Author, National Climate Assessment:  What keeps me up at night is a persistence across the population not to recognize that the old normal climate is broken, and we don’t know what the new normal climate is going to be.

GWEN IFILL:  The Obama administration sought to show today that global warming is no longer an issue for the distant future, but instead the here and now.

Gary Yohe is lead author of the government’s new National Climate Assessment.

GARY YOHE:  That lack of recognition and the inability of this community and decision-makers to communicate those risks to individuals unnecessarily puts economic assets at risk, unnecessarily puts human lives at risk, unnecessarily puts ecosystems at risk.

GWEN IFILL:  The U.N. has already issued dire warnings about the negative effects worldwide of failing to reduce carbon emissions.

The new assessment zeroes in on damage within the United States.  The report describes how results will be felt in eight regions across the country, from stronger storms in the Northeast, to wildfires and drought in the Southwest, to rising dangers from more powerful hurricanes in the Southeast.

The assessment also finds heavy rainfall has increased across the Eastern United States in the last half-century, and by 70 percent just in the Northeast.

Kathryn Sullivan, who runs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said there’s an urgent need to act.

KATHRYN SULLIVAN, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:  We can, as we must, bring this assessment to life, really make sure it gets off the page, out of the ether, and into the policies, the plans and the practices that are adopted across our nation.

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