Draft U.S. re­port says ex­treme storms driven by cli­mate change

Cape Breton Post - - World -

Di­rectly con­tra­dict­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, a draft re­port pro­duced by 13 fed­eral agen­cies con­cludes that the United States is al­ready feel­ing the neg­a­tive im­pacts of cli­mate change, with a stark in­crease in the fre­quency of heat waves, heavy rains and other ex­treme weather over the last four decades.

The pre­lim­i­nary re­port sum­ma­rizes the cur­rent state of the sci­ence for the up­com­ing Na­tional Cli­mate As­sess­ment. Trump and his Cab­i­net have ex­pressed pub­lic doubts that the warm­ing is be­ing pri­mar­ily driven by man-made car­bon pol­lu­tion and will have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for Amer­i­cans.

An early ver­sion of the re­port, a copy of which was ob­tained by The Associated Press, was dis­trib­uted widely in De­cem­ber for re­view by lead­ing sci­en­tists. The New York Times pub­lished a copy Mon­day.

The U.S. Global Change Re­search Pro­gram, which will edit and pro­duce the fi­nal re­port, did not re­spond to phone and emails seek­ing com­ment on Tues­day.

The as­sess­ment has gen­er­ally been re­leased ev­ery four years un­der a fed­eral ini­tia­tive man­dated by Congress in 1990. The cur­rent draft, tar­geted for re­lease later this year, largely builds on the con­clu­sions of the 2014 as­sess­ment re­leased un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The as­sess­ment said global tem­per­a­tures will con­tinue to rise with­out steep re­duc­tions in the burn­ing of fos­sil fu­els, with in­creas­ingly neg­a­tive im­pacts. World­wide, 15 of the last 16 years have been the warmest years on record. To­day, the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion said 2017 is on track to be the sec­ond warmest for the United States.

The re­port calls the long-term ev­i­dence that global warm­ing is be­ing driven by hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties “un­am­bigu­ous.’’

“There are no al­ter­na­tive ex­pla­na­tions, and no nat­u­ral cy­cles are found in the ob­ser­va­tional record that can ex­plain the ob­served changes in cli­mate,’’ the re­port said, cit­ing thou­sands of stud­ies.

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