2018 National Climate Assessment Warns of a Future with More Extreme Weather

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The 2018 National Climate Assessment presents stark news for climate change and our environment. It states that the climate is changing faster than at any point in modern civilization’s history, with the extreme weather happenings seen in the United States serving as just a precursor to future, more severe events.

Authored by several federal agencies, their report places that the state of human wellbeing as at risk. The severity of allergies and respiratory illnesses is expected to increase with the change of climate. The geographic distribution of insects may shift, allowing for disease carrying mosquitos and ticks to more widely distribute illnesses associated with the West Nile and Zika viruses, alongside Lyme Disease. Water and foodborne illnesses are also expected to rise in occurrence.

The economic impact of more severe weather is already being observed as well. Since 2015, the United States has experienced about $400 billion worth in infrastructural and natural resource damage. This is only expected to increase.

The colored lines show the six different global average sea level rise scenarios, relative to the year 2000, that were developed by the U.S. Federal Interagency Sea Level Rise Taskforce to describe the range of future possible rise this century.

The 2018 Climate Assessment showed more severe high-end sea level rise scenarios with up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) by 2,100.  The colored lines show the six different global average sea level rise scenarios, relative to the year 2000, that were developed by the U.S. Federal Interagency Sea Level Rise Taskforce to describe the range of future possible rise this century. Source: 2018 National Climate Assessment, Figure 2.3, Chapter 2

This assessment, “concludes that the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’ physical, social, and economic well-being are rising.”

Former Vice President Al Gore commented on this study: “Unbelievably deadly and tragic wildfires rage in the west, hurricanes batter our coasts — and the Trump administration chooses the Friday after Thanksgiving to try and bury this critical U.S. assessment of the climate crisis,” he said. “The President may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible.”

View the entirety of this assessment here.

Notable hurricanes in 2017: (a) Visible imagery from the GOES satellite shows Hurricanes Katia (west), Irma (center) and Jose (east) stretched across the Atlantic on September 8, 2017; (b) Hurricane Maria about to make landfall over Puerto Rico on September 19, 2017; (c) Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas on August 23, 2017; and (d) rainfall totals from August 23 to 27 over southeastern Texas and Louisiana. Sources: (a) NOAA CIRA; (b–d) NASA. From Figure 2.9, 2018 National Climate Assessment

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