U.S. Assessment Reports that Climate Change is Already Affecting the U.S.

The 3rd National Climate Assessment, prepared by a large scientific panel overseen by the U.S. government, has found that climate change is already impacting virtually every state in the U.S.  Effects include: increased storm water surges from hurricanes; rising sea levels that will impact every coastal areas and threaten key cities such as New York, Boston, and Miami; increased scarcity in dry regions of the U.S.; torrential rain events increasing in wetter regions of the U.S. that result in increased flooding; heat waves becoming more common and severe; wildfires growing in size, intensity, and frequency; and forests prematurely dying due to insects that are able to survive farther north given the warmer climate.  The report found that the temperature increase over most land areas in the U.S. of only 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century is responsible for these impacts, primarily as a result of increases in carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere.  The study warns that if GHG emissions continue unabated, the U.S. could see increased warming exceeding 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, which will result in substantially greater harm to the U.S.