The effects of human-induced
climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists
reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains
increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe,
wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving
Such sweeping changes have been caused by an average warming of
less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit over most land areas of the country in the past
century, the scientists found. If greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and
methane continue to escalate at a rapid pace, they said, the warming could
conceivably exceed 10 degrees by the end of this century.
“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future,
has moved firmly into the present,” the scientists declared in a major new
report assessing the situation in the United States.
“Summers are longer and hotter,
and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has
ever experienced,” the report continued. “Winters are generally shorter and
warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. People are seeing changes in the
length and severity of seasonal allergies, the plant varieties that thrive in
their gardens, and the kinds of birds they see in any particular month in their
The report, the National Climate
Assessment, was prepared by a large scientific
panel overseen by the government, and received final approval at a meeting
Tuesday morning in Washington. The report was unveiled at the White House, and
President Obama planned to spend part of the day highlighting the findings in
interviews with television weather forecasters around the country.
for the full article in the New York Times.