Photo via Tim Panogos
. . . And as you might imagine, it's not pretty—climate change's usual suspects like more severe tropical storms, drought, and raising sea levels make appearances, but it's some of the lesser-known threats detailed here that make the report truly scary.
Here's the simple summary, according to the NY Times:
Even if the nation takes significant steps to slow emissions of heat-trapping gases, the impact of global warming is expected to become more severe in coming years, the report says, affecting farms and forests, coastlines and floodplains, water and energy supplies, transportation and human health.
Okay, so we've heard all that before, grim as it is. But the report, prepared by a joint scientific research venture and the White House (called fittingly the US Global Change Research Program), goes into further detail as to the concerns the government is going to have to cope with due to climate change. Here are a few of the key findings: (from the NY Times)
- The study also cites an increase in drought in the Southwest and more intense heat waves in the Northeast as a result of growing concentrations of carbon dioxide
- Reduced mountain snowpack means earlier melt-offs and reduced stream volumes across the West and Northwest, affecting residential and agricultural water supplies, habitats for spawning fish and reduced hydroelectric power generation
- rising average temperatures would cause more heat-related illnesses and deaths, along with some reduction in deaths from extreme cold
- The study also showed that higher temperatures combined with air pollution would cause a higher incidence of asthma and other respiratory ailments.
More on US Climate Change:
China & US Held Secret Climate Change Talks As Early as 2007
Climate Change is a Top Threat to National Security, Says New Head of US Intelligence