May 12, 2014 Leave a comment
The Brookings Institution nicely summarizes the main conclusions of the recently published National Climate Assessment (NCA).
1. Warming has been driven by human activity.
Human activities are the primary cause of warming over the past 50 years. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by more than 40 percent since the industrial revolution, through the burning of fossil fuels and continued deforestation…
2. Climate change impacts are happening now.
Temperatures in the United States have already increased 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895 (most of it since 1970) and in most areas of the United States temperatures are projected to rise by another 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit over the next few decades…
3. Climate change impacts will continue into the future.
Temperatures across the United States as well as in oceans and freshwater lakes are projected to rise. This will be accompanied by more heavy downpours, severe droughts, and wildfires. Sea levels are projected to rise by another 1 to 4 feet this century.
4. Climate change will adversely affect the economy and quality of life.
These impacts will have negative repercussions for human health, water supply, agriculture, transportation, energy, and coastal areas where nearly 5 million Americans and billions of dollars worth of property are located…
5. Vulnerable regions and sectors will be disproportionately affected.