16 June 2009 20:05 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US is already being damaged by human-caused global warming with extreme weather, drought and wildfire trends that will worsen unless swift corrective action is taken, a multi-agency federal report said on Tuesday.
The report, issued by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on behalf of 13 federal science agencies, was released as Congress is considering a massive climate change bill that is opposed by many in the chemicals industry, the broader manufacturing sector and among agricultural interests.
NOAA said the report “confirms previous evidence that global temperature increases in recent decades have been primarily human-induced”. That conclusion, however, is still contested by some in Congress.
“Implementing sizable and sustained reductions in carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible would significantly reduce the pace and the overall amount of climate change,” the report said.
“The current trend in the emission of greenhouse gas [GHG] pollution is significantly above the worst-case scenarios” previously considered, the report said.
Left unchecked, the report said, global warming will cause more frequent and intense heat waves, affecting transportation, energy systems and crop and livestock production.
Accelerated warming will cause increasingly heavy downpours in some areas, leading to more flooding and waterborne diseases even as the increased droughts trigger greater competition for water in some regions.
“Insect infestations and wildfires are already increasing and are projected to increase further in a warming climate,” the report said.
Projections of a warming-induced three-foot (0.9 metre) rise in US coastal sea levels “will increasingly threaten homes and other coastal infrastructure”, the report said.
“Coastal flooding will become more frequent and severe, and coastal land will increasingly be lost to the rising seas,” the report said, adding: “These and other climate-related impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems will have major implications for tourism and fisheries.”
The report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the
The full report and summaries are available on a special federal website.
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