8/14/2014 - National Climate Assessment Calls for Immediate Action
Lest there be any doubt, climate change is not only a very real threat, but is currently underway, so says a new report from the federal government.
According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, climate change is an environmental issue that every part of the country will experience in one way or another in the coming years and has already made its presence known in a variety of forms in each region.
For example, in the Northeastern portion of the U.S., more regular bouts of rainfall, heat waves and rising sea levels are projected and have been observed.
"In mountainous regions, including … large parts of Pennsylvania … more intense precipitation events will mean greater flood risk, particularly in valleys, where people, infrastructure, and agriculture tend to be concentrated," the report stated.
Going back to 1895, average temperatures in the U.S. have risen by an average of 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit in certain parts of the country. Additionally, 2001 to 2012 was the earth's warmest decade on record, according to the Third National Climate Assessment analysis. Two years ago, 356 record high temperatures were either tied or broken in the U.S. and one-third of the U.S. population saw the mercury rise to or beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Raymond Najjar, Ph.D., a climate professor of oceanography at Penn State University, told local newspaper The Citizens' Voice that the report confirms what most climatologists have known for a long time. Now, the appropriate measures have to be taken in order to curb its effects.
"We've got to move the conversation toward doing something about it instead of arguing about the science," said Najjar.
The 800-page report, which took four years to complete and included scientists from around the world, is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis ever to be put together on the global impact of climate change. It includes information regarding what preparations individuals and communities ought to be taking in order to prepare for the effects.
Climate change requires action, experts say
Radley Horton, a scientist at Columbia University's Earth Institute Center for Climate Systems Research, who co-authored the report, told The Huffington Post that the findings won't be of much use unless countries work together in order to solve the issue.
The White House has unveiled a broad-based strategy on what efforts are currently underway to combat what the report calls a climate crisis. Specifically, it noted that more energy and money will be devoted to increase the support of climate-resilient investments.
Home and business owners can make their own preparations by investing in flood insurance. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding is routinely the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S. However, it is not included in standard property insurance policies.
For more information on this form of coverage, talk to a local Selective agent.