Climate change linked to natural disasters

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It warns that the danger of destructive weather events - from powerful storms to extremely dry weather and wildfires - is worsening.

The fifth installment would be due during President Trump's second term if he's re-elected.

The National Climate Assessment, written by outside scientists and officials from 13 federal agencies, was released Friday. The second volume of the fourth National Climate Assessment detailed the huge and potentially catastrophic effects of climate change on the environment and humanity should it continue unmitigated.

In its release, the White House also pointed to a 14 percent drop in carbon emissions from 2005, an artificial benchmark based on when US emissions peaked.

The last few years have seen a record amount of damaging weather, which has costed the country almost $400 billion since 2015, according to the report.

The report is mandated by law. It was based on more than 1,000 earlier research studies.

A team of more than 300 experts produced the report. Trump and the Republican Party have been negligent stewards of the country's irreplaceable resources.

"Warming temperatures are increasing a lot of stress on our ecosystems".

The actual cost of global warming was one of its biggest and most worrisome takeaways from the report. Cooking the next report will not change the facts. But it said that people must take steps to stop future weather disasters "to avoid substantial damages to the USA economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades".

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Trump and several members of his cabinet have also repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, arguing the causes and impacts are not yet settled.

An aerial photo shows damaged and destroyed homes after Hurricane Michael smashed into Florida's northwest coast in Mexico Beach, Oct. 12, 2018.

State and local elected leaders as well as businesses and foundations who understand the sound factual basis of the science, however, have stepped into the vacuum created by the Trump Administration.

"The climate assessment, put forth by Donald Trump's own administration", Brune added, "makes it clearer than ever that if we don't act now, the catastrophic effects of climate change will reshape the United States and the world to the detriment of those alive today, and for generations to come".

U.S. carbon emissions from industry slipped 2.7 percent a year ago as coal plants shut and use of natural gas and renewable energy rose. Yet emissions worldwide continue to rise.

Trump has also rolled back Obama-era environmental and climate rules such as the Clean Power Plan, while seeking to boost output of oil, gas and coal for domestic use and for shipping to allies and partners.

"The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future - but the severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur", the report states. He said the agreement would hurt the US economy and said there was little evidence it would improve the environment. Over half (53%) of voters in the August Quinnipiac poll said climate change is a factor in making fires more extreme.

- Washington Post, with additional reporting from Associated Press writer John Lemire. Hai Do was the editor.

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