The Fourth National Climate Assessment Report is Here and it Doesn’t Look Good for the Planet

Wildfires

Read it here.

What is this report?  A taste:

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years that “1) integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program…; 2) analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and 3) analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.”

The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) fulfills that mandate in two volumes. This report, Volume II, draws on the foundational science described in Volume I, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR). Volume II focuses on the human welfare, societal, and environmental elements of climate change and variability for 10 regions and 18 national topics, with particular attention paid to observed and projected risks, impacts, consideration of risk reduction, and implications under different mitigation pathways. Where possible, NCA4 Volume II provides examples of actions underway in communities across the United States to reduce the risks associated with climate change, increase resilience, and improve livelihoods.

This assessment was written to help inform decision-makers, utility and natural resource managers, public health officials, emergency planners, and other stakeholders by providing a thorough examination of the effects of climate change on the United States.

Key points from the report:

  1. “Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.”
  2. “Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.”
  3. “Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.”
  4. “Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”
  5. “The quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.”
  6. “Impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.”
  7. “Climate change increasingly threatens Indigenous communities’ livelihoods, economies, health, and cultural identities by disrupting interconnected social, physical, and ecological systems.”
  8. “Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being altered by climate change, and these impacts are projected to continue. Without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, transformative impacts on some ecosystems will occur; some coral reef and sea ice ecosystems are already experiencing such transformational changes.”
  9. “Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands, and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the United States. Expected increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality, and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad threaten rural livelihoods, sustainable food security, and price stability.”
  10. “Our Nation’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure is further stressed by increases in heavy precipitation events, coastal flooding, heat, wildfires, and other extreme events, as well as changes to average precipitation and temperature. Without adaptation, climate change will continue to degrade infrastructure performance over the rest of the century, with the potential for cascading impacts that threaten our economy, national security, essential services, and health and well-being.”
  11. “Coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Without significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and regional adaptation measures, many coastal regions will be transformed by the latter part of this century, with impacts affecting other regions and sectors. Even in a future with lower greenhouse gas emissions, many communities are expected to suffer financial impacts as chronic high-tide flooding leads to higher costs and lower property values.”
  12. “Outdoor recreation, tourist economies, and quality of life are reliant on benefits provided by our natural environment that will be degraded by the impacts of climate change in many ways.”

Read more about all twelve of these points here.  Here is a Washington Post article on the report.

I am glad to learn so many young evangelicals are taking this seriously.  It is time for our churches to do the same.  This is a LIFE issue.

3 thoughts on “The Fourth National Climate Assessment Report is Here and it Doesn’t Look Good for the Planet

  1. As usual, the problem is that there is a long, long, long, long history of “experts” being utterly and completely wrong when it comes to predicting the future.

    A couple of them from a long, long list of bogus predictions from years past:

    “U.N. OFFICIAL PREDICTS DISASTER SAYS GREENHOUSE EFFECT COULD WIPE SOME NATIONS OFF MAP – entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect: -Associated Press June 30, 1989

    “If the current pace of the buildup of these gases continues, the effect is likely to be a warming of 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit from the year 2025 to 2050, according to these projections. This rise in temperature is not expected to be uniform around the globe but to be greater in the higher latitudes, reaching as much as 20 degrees, and lower at the Equator.” — NY Times, 6/24/1988 – http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html?pagewanted=all

    “[In New York City by 2008] The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change. There will be more police cars. Why? Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up… Under the greenhouse effect, extreme weather increases. Depending on where you are in terms of the hydrological cycle, you get more of whatever you’re prone to get. New York can get droughts, the droughts can get more severe and you’ll have signs in restaurants saying “Water by request only.”” -James Hansen testimony before Congress in June 1988

    We stuff 40% of the American corn crop into gas tanks because “experts” told us that biofuels were a “solution” to global warming, but now that “Big Ag” reaps big bucks from government mandating it’s use and the accompanying taxpayer subsidies, we can’t get rid of it after more science has shown corn-based ethanol is of dubious value.

    My favorite exercise was doing a little research about Memphis energy usage and the amount of land used by a couple of solar projects built in our area. Putting Excel to some use, I calculated that it would take covering the whole state of TN with solar panels to power ONLY Memphis homes. I’m not sure what we’ll do with the rest of the TN population or about growing food when all the farmland across the state is covered with solar panels. Even if I was off by half taking future efficiency increases in use and some other factors, we still have a land use problem.

    And John, you’re not far from my age. I’m sure you can remember back in the ’70s the “experts” were telling us we were heading into another “little ice age”.

    Some additional info on that UN report:
    “The last big attempt to get the world to cut CO2 emissions turned out to be a farce. As the UN itself admitted, the CO2 reduction pledges made by the 195 countries that signed on to the Paris Accords won’t come anywhere close the level of CO2 reductions it says are needed to avoid “catastrophe.”

    And countries aren’t even living up to those pledges.

    In the EU, carbon emissions started climbing again last year. Germany is way off its carbon reduction goals, despite plans to spend $580 billion to overhaul its energy system. A recent report showed that only nine of 195 countries have submitted their CO2 reduction plans to the UN.

    Does anyone honestly believe that these countries will suddenly decide to entirely decarbonize their economies in three decades?”
    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/global-warming-un-report/

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  2. Yikes, did they make this report dry as a metaphor? Even I had a hard time making it through the quotes. I hope Fox spices it up for the president. Maybe “Fossil Fuels are turning America into Mexico”? Regardless what the president makes of it, I’m glad people are starting to realize Obama wasn’t just making up the grim reports… and that climate change isn’t going away. Cause it is NEVER going away. It’s physically impossible to undue climate change. It would be like trying to turn a cake into flour and eggs again. Some thermodynamic processes do not work in reverse.

    Like

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