A new U.S. government climate change report published by the Trump administration Thanksgiving weekend reveals that the oncoming terrors of climate change might be worse than ever imagined – shrinking our economy by hundreds of billions of dollars within the next century (more than 10% of its GDP).
According to the report, the global average temperature is much higher (meaning much hotter) and is rising much more rapidly than “anything modern civilization has ever experienced,” said David Easterling, director of the Technical Support Unit at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment was conducted with a team of 13 federal agencies, 1,000 people and roughly 300 scientists. The report consists of 1,600 pages and reveals how human activities are drastically impacting the state of the Earth and will ultimately impact the United States’ economy, according to USA Today.
“The climate change the Earth is experiencing is unlike any other. This warming trend can only be explained by human activities,” said Easterling.
The report, compiled and revealed by top-scientists and agencies every four years, reveals how climate change is already impacting the country – and, contrary to the beliefs of the Trump administration, requires immediate action. In the United States alone, climate change including wildfires, devastating hurricanes and debilitating heat waves have cost the United States nearly $400 billion since 2015, according to USA Today.
Courtesy: Fortune 100
According to the Washington Post, western mountain ranges are retaining less snow throughout the year which threatens water supplies below them. In addition, coral reefs in Hawaii, Florida, the Caribbean and the United States’ Pacific territories are experiencing severe bleaching. Wildfires, such as the devastating fires in California, are engulfing areas, forests and homes during fire seasons. Alaska, the United States’ arctic state, is seeing an increasing rate of warming that has “upended ecosystems, from once ice-clogged coastlines” to now, permafrost tundras being thawed.
According to the report, climate change isn’t experienced by one extreme change of weather to the next in our day-to-day lives. Instead, the climate change trend is seen over long periods of time. “Humans are living with the warmest temperatures in modern history,” with temperatures dropping to at least 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit, reports CNN.
Without the immediate decrease in greenhouse emissions, the Earth could see the annual average global temperature dropping to nearly nine degrees Fahrenheit.
“The impacts we’ve seen the last 15 years have continued to get stronger, and that will only continue,” said Gary Yohe, a professor of economics and environmental studies at Wesleyan University. “We have wasted 15 years of response time. If we waste another five years, it just gets worse. The longer you wait, the worse it gets.”
The report also finds that the temperature for the United States is already 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago, with seas nine inches higher and being plagued by worse heat waves than the nation experienced only 50 years ago. By 2050, roughly 30 years from now, the United States can see as much as a 2.3 increase of warming in the continental United States. By this same year, coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific territories could be bleaching drastically every single year, with survival rates plummeting.
Courtesy: Bob Nichols, USDA
Finally, the worse sufferers include the labor work-force of the United States, with climate change radically affecting billions of U.S. dollars and the U.S. economy. In a worst-case scenario, labor-related losses by 2090 could amount to nearly $155 billion annually due to extreme heat conditions that would be no longer suitable for outside labor. Deaths due to temperature extremes could amount to $141 billion per year in 2090, and coastal property damage could amount to $118 billion in damage yearly.
Mitigating climate change could decrease these scary numbers by at least 58 percent in the case of high-temperature related deaths, the report states. By decreasing fossil fuel emissions, greenhouse gases and switching to clean-energy alternatives, we can see the state of our country and our planet Earth improving in the long-term.
We need to start adapting to the constant changes of our Earth and start taking the necessary actions to sustain the environment longer. Let’s start by taking control of how we live our daily lives – including fewer fossil fuels, fewer gasses, and more clean energy!