White House climate change report cites adverse weather impact on regions

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Climate change is impacting various regions in the U.S. and Americans should adjust to limit the damage it will cause, according to the latest climate change report the White House released on Tuesday.

Among the impact cited by the third National Climate Assessment (NCA) prepared by more than 300 scientists were the heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge affecting the Northeast. The report also mentions drought and increased warming that foster wildfires and increased competition for scarce water resources for people and ecosystems in the Southwest.

Severe storms have hit the U.S. with increasing frequency and intensity since the 1950s, according to the NCA.

“Extreme weather events currently disrupt transportation networks in all areas of the country; projections indicate that such disruptions will increase,” the report says, according to CBS News. “Climate change impacts will increase the total costs to the Nation’s transportation systems and their users, but these impacts can be reduced through rerouting, mode change, and a wide range of adaptive actions.”

Rising heat to too much water on the East Coast and too little water on the West will likely impact the U.S. in coming decades even if the emission of all greenhouse gases is cut off right away, the NCA says.

Other impact cited by the report are more wildfires, disease-transmitting insects, decreased air quality and damage to roads and bridges, all of which threatens human health and well-being.

The report says governments, businesses and individual can soften the impacts by creating cleaner, more efficient energy.

White House counselor John Podesta told reporters Monday that the United States is now the largest producer of natural gas in the world.

Podesta said the Obama administration aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and one way to do that is through the fuel economy standards finalized in 2012. The new standards drive down the amount of energy necessary to produce goods and services.

The NCA also suggests that society should adapt to climate change and make decisions that lessen the impacts of climate extremes and events, like investing in solar power generation or wind farm instead of coal-fired power plants.

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