December 1, 2022

The draft report offers a stark yet stark view of climate threats in the United States

The draft report offers a stark yet stark view of climate threats in the United States

Trump administration I tried, but it pretty much failedto stop work on the next report, and to postpone its issuance until 2023.

The draft report comes as world leaders gather in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this week for the annual United Nations Climate Change Summit. This year’s talks focus on it The damage global warming is doing to the world’s poorest countries and the question of what rich countries should do to help. But the forthcoming US assessment will provide a stark reminder that even rich countries will face dire consequences if temperatures continue to rise.

The United States has warmed 68 percent faster than the Earth as a whole over the past 50 years, according to the draft report, with average temperatures in the lower 48 states rising 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 degrees Celsius) during that time period. This reflects a global pattern where land areas are warming faster than the oceans, and higher latitudes are warming faster than lower latitudes where humans are heating the planet, primarily by burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal for energy.

The draft says Americans can now feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives. In coastal cities like Miami Beach, Florida, the frequency of devastating floods at high tide has quadrupled over the past 20 years as sea levels have risen. In Alaska, 14 major fisheries disasters have been linked to changes in climate, including an increase in marine heat waves. In Colorado, ski industries lost revenue due to reduced snowfall.

Across the country, deadly and destructive extreme weather events such as heat waves, torrential rains, droughts and wildfires are becoming more frequent and intense.

In the 1980s, the country suffered a severe climate catastrophe that caused economic damage at least $1 billion once every four months, on average, after adjusting to inflation. “Now, there’s one every three weeks on average.” Some extreme events, like last year’s Pacific Northwest heat wave that killed at least 229 people, would have been virtually impossible without global warming.