Published: Sat, November 24, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters, contradicts Trump

Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters, contradicts Trump

The report adds to an ever-growing, all-but-irrefutable body of scientific research that shows climate change is real and driven by human carbon emissions ― a reality that President Donald Trump and his team refuse to accept as they pursue a fossil fuel-focused "energy dominance" agenda.

As California's catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new White House report warns that these types of extreme weather disasters are worsening in the United States because of global warming. It warns of more, stronger, and longer disasters triggered at least in part by global warming.

The federal report is mandated by law.

Climate change is also projected to increase the frequency and severity of allergic illnesses, including asthma and hay fever. It details how global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas is hurting each region of the United States and how it impacts different sectors of the economy, including energy and agriculture.

The report said climate change was "presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth".

"With the lives and health of millions of Americans at risk from worsened hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and air pollution, we urge President Trump and his administration to heed the dire warnings in this report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources to save American lives", said Harold P. Wimmer, national president of the American Lung Assn.

"Annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century - more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many USA states", the report says.

"This report underscores what we are already seeing firsthand: climate change is real, it's happening here, and it's happening now". Trump has vowed to pull out of the global Paris climate agreement, while seeking to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that climate change is accelerating and caused by human activity.

Brenda Ekwurzel, director of climate science at the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the report's authors, said the report made it clear that climate change was not "some problem in the distant future".

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"With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century - more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states", the report said.

Environmental groups said the report reinforced their calls for the United States to take action on climate change.

At the time, Mr Trump said he wanted to negotiate a new "fair" deal that would not disadvantage U.S. businesses and workers.

By the end of the century, the U.S. will be 1.6 to 6.6C hotter depending on how much greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, the report warns. It is written by outside scientists and officials from 13 federal agencies. It was originally scheduled for December.

The report warns that the frequency of wildfires could increase if climate change is unchecked.

Earlier this week Trump mocked climate science, tweeting about cold weather in the Northeast and asking "Whatever happened to Global Warming?" "Over climate timescales of multiple decades, however, global temperature continues to steadily increase".

TRT World's Lionel Donovan reports.

The assessment leaves no doubt that humans are to blame for the changing climate, and that extent of the harm we will experience depends on decisions we make today.

Citing numerous studies, the report says more than 90 percent of the current warming is caused by humans.

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