Climate change will cost the USA economy hundreds of billions of dollars

Mario Tama  Getty Images FILE

Mario Tama Getty Images FILE

When people say the wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves they're experiencing are unlike anything they've seen before, there's a reason for that, and it's called climate change.

"The impacts of climate change beyond our borders are expected to increasingly affect our trade and economy, including import and export prices and USA businesses with overseas operations and supply chains".

The congressionally-mandated Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) is the culmination of an enormous effort by the USA government and scientists from a variety of sectors to provide the US public with the state of the science on climate change, the impacts that it is now having on the country, and those that are likely to manifest.

The report also said these more powerful, longer-lasting weather disasters are triggered, at least in part, by global warming. The changes highlighted in the report "threaten the health and wellbeing of the American people" and "further disrupt many areas of life, exacerbating existing challenges and revealing new risks", says David Easterling, a report author and scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The issue of climate change is at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda as he continuously strives to rewrite pro-environment policies.

The report is mandated by law every few years and is based on more than 1,000 previous research studies.

The Trump administration just published a major report documenting the advance of climate change, weeks earlier than expected and on a day many Americans are occupied with family and holiday shopping.

Those needed actions would entail both climate change mitigation efforts and adaption plans to adjust society to a changing climate, the report said.

Light said it's impossible not to conclude that the timing is meant to hide the report from public view.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which almost every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions.

Trump seemed to take a knock at those calling for action over climate change this week, when he noted that a cold blast was set to hit the U.S.

What makes the report different from others is that it focuses on the United States, then goes more local and granular.

Climate change is expected to hurt the American economy by causing more damage to natural resources and infrastructure, including access to roads, the viability of bridges and the safety of pipelines.

Climate change is already hurting the global economy and will cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars annually unless drastic action is taken to cut carbon emissions, a major United States government report warned on Friday.

The recent Northern California wildfires can be attributed to climate change, but there was less of a connection to those in Southern California, said co-author William Hohenstein of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The risks tied to climate change include inland flooding from more intense rain events, surges from more severe coastal storms, temperature extremes and episodes of poor air quality.

"Projected future costs are estimated to continue along a steep upward trend relative to what is being experienced today", the report states. "Communities of color and those on the front lines feel these impacts the hardest and we feel them first", Dr. Beverly Wright, the founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, said in a press release.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "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".

This news outlet has been - and remains - skeptical of climate change theory.

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