National Climate Assessment: Climate change effects are already being felt across country, will grow more severe in time. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” states the report’s introduction.
Note by Michael Quirke: In case you missed it, the federal government released the National Climate Assessment (NCA) in May. The report concluded that man-made climate change is already impacting every region of the United States in negative ways. The CCNF journalism team had this write-up on the media coverage of the report a week after its release, and we were planning on posting it in the “Climate Change in the Media: Commentary & fact checking by the CCNF Scientist Community” section, but this raised a protest by one of the CCNF scientists. The scientist thought that by posting the write-up in that particular section, we would be giving the impression that we were expecting the scientists to fact check the massive report and to do so while the ink was still wet no less. It was a valid point and underscored the need for a separate news section on CCNF — a place where, in addition to covering the scientists’ dialogue, the CCNF journalist could post on major news in climate change, not for fact checking per se, but because it’s need to know material. Now that the transition over to “CCNF 2.0″ is complete and the new “CCNF News & Reports” section is up and running, here’s our belated short write-up on the media coverage of the National Climate Assessment.
On May 6th 2014, the federal government released the National Climate Assessment (NCA), an 800-plus page report based on contributions from hundreds of scientists in academia and government. The report concludes that climate change is already affecting every region of the United States in negative ways.
“The [National Climate Assessment] … cites wide and severe impacts: more sea-level rise, flooding, storm surges, precipitation and heat waves in the Northeast; frequent water shortages and hurricanes in the Southeast and the Caribbean; and more drought and wildfires in the Southwest,” summed up the Washington Post.
The report states that Texas will suffer especially from the impacts of climate change, the Houston Chronicle reported. “According to the report, the state is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, worsening droughts, and heat waves — all exacerbated by population growth, urbanization, and energy development,” the newspaper said.
Critics of the Obama Administration, including Republicans in Congress and some representatives of the industrial sector, said that the report is a political document meant to provide justification for increased regulation of industry that would cost American jobs. “With this report, the president is attempting to once again distract Americans from his unchecked regulatory agenda that is costing our nation millions of job opportunities and our ability to be energy-independent,” said [Republican Senator Jim Inhofe], a longtime champion of the oil and gas industries,” the Post reported.