The fourth National Climate Assessment report was released Friday, and warns that damage from climate change is already occurring across the US, according to the Washington Post. The congressionally mandated report, the first of its kind since 2014, comes from over a dozen Trump administration agencies.

The urgency of the warnings highlights a contrast with Trump’s dismissal of the issue, including a tweet just this past Wednesday, saying “Whatever happened to Global Warming?” in reference to cold temperatures on the east coast.

Trump’s tweet ignores the reality that climate and weather are separate, and that cold days do not indicate that global temperatures are not on the rise. And now, Trump’s statements and regulatory rollbacks also disregard new, dire warnings from the administration’s own scientists.

The authors of the report represent a range of federal agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) , the Department of State, the Pentagon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The report is the fourth such publication since 2000, and the first to be published under the Trump administration. The new report offers more definitive conclusions than past versions, with more urgent warnings.

Rising temperatures linked to climate change are “transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us,” according to the report.

In particular, the report describes a variety of phenomena in different regions. In many areas, changing patterns of snow and rainfall have threatened water supplies, with sea level rise adding even more stress in places like Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Extreme weather will put pressure on agriculture, threatening rural livelihoods and the broader food supply.

The Northeast is expected to face flooding from heavy rainfall, rising sea levels, and storm surge, exacerbating problems with aging infrastructure.

In many regions, asthma and hay fever are expected to worsen as a result of warmer temperatures, which will also expand the ranges of disease-carrying insects such as ticks and mosquitos.

The report stops short of calling directly for policy changes, despite its warnings. In fact, the authors warn:

“Even if significant emissions reductions occur, many of the effects from sea level rise over this century — and particularly through mid-century —are already locked in due to historical emissions, and many communities are already dealing with the consequences.”

The administration’s rollback of climate measures is making that reduction increasingly unlikely to happen in time to mitigate the report’s most dire projections.

A spokesperson from the White House, which has been accused of burying the report by releasing it over a busy holiday weekend, said Friday:

“The report is largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that, despite strong economic growth that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population.”

Another assessment is due to be released in four years, which will take a more detailed look at the modeling and projections.

 

 

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