New US Report on Climate: It’s Getting Badder, Faster

Let’s see, if each of these reports, wakes up 1% more of the population to the dangers we are facing, and .5% more to the idea we must do somethings, even if inconvenient, to change our behavior, how many years will that take?  And do we have that many?

Corn in Colby, Kansas withers in the Great Drought of 2012 on May 27. Image credit: Wunderphotographer treeman.

Corn in Colby, Kansas withers in the Great Drought of 2012 on May 27. Image credit: Wunderphotographer treeman.

“The impacts of climate change driven by human activity are spreading through the United States faster than had been predicted, increasingly threatening infrastructure, water supplies, crops and shorelines, according to a federal advisory committee.

The draft Third National Climate Assessment, issued every four years, delivers a bracing picture of environmental changes and natural disasters that mounting scientific evidence indicates is fostered by climate change: heavier rains in the Northeast, Midwest and Plains that have overwhelmed storm drains and led to flooding and erosion; sea level rise that has battered coastal communities; drought that has turned much of the West into a tinderbox.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the report says. “Americans are noticing changes all around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer.”

Written by 240 scientists, business leaders and other experts, the draft assessment arrives days after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its annual State of the Climate Report, which noted that 2012 was the hottest year on record. Together, the two major reports and a year of drought, wildfires, floods and freak storms have created for President Obama the chance to take substantial steps on climate change, environmentalists said.

LA Times

Or, one could just watch the news.

Snow blanketed Jerusalem on Thursday, an example of weather extremes that are growing more frequent and intense

Snow blanketed Jerusalem on Thursday, an example of weather extremes that are growing more frequent and intense

“Britons may remember 2012 as the year the weather spun off its rails in a chaotic concoction of drought, deluge and flooding, but the unpredictability of it all turns out to have been all too predictable: Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace.

Especially lately. China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk.

Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.

NY Times

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