WASHINGTON -- The just-released 2018 update to the National Climate Assessment, “NCA4 Vol. II,” offers more proof that we as a nation need to develop strategies right away to mitigate the effects of climate change, or face increasingly dire consequences.
The report’s analysis of specific topics and regions of the United States makes it clear that communities across the country can expect a wide variety of impacts, whether it’s worsening air quality from wildfires, threats to infrastructure from sea level rise and extreme weather, or heightened risks for already-vulnerable Americans, such as the elderly and pregnant women. The report also looks at key regional impacts: threats to agricultural productivity in the Midwest, thawing permafrost in Alaska, and increasing susceptibility to the spread of diseases such as the Zika and West Nile viruses in the Southeast, among other impacts.
Andrea McGimsey, senior director of Environment America’s global warming solutions program, issued the following statement:
“We used to say that climate change would impact our kids and grandkids, but we are experiencing worsening, terrible impacts now.
“Our nation is reeling from some of the most destructive and tragic wildfires on record, and many communities still haven’t recovered from the massive hurricanes that hit the Gulf coast and southeastern states a few months ago.
“In this latest National Climate Assessment, expert scientists tell us that we can expect wildfires, storms and other climate-related impacts to become even more common and more intense in the future, unless we substantially and urgently ratchet down carbon pollution. We agree with the report’s conclusion that we need to prioritize protecting communities now -- Americans across the country are already preparing for and dealing with some of the most severe and deadly impacts.
We must also act strategically, with urgency, to stifle climate change on a global scale to prevent worsening future impacts. It’s time to generate 100 percent of our energy from clean sources and transition to zero-emission transportation. It’s up to all of us -- from our elected officials, to the companies we buy from, to our families -- to take what the scientists say in the report, roll up our sleeves, and solve this existential challenge for our country.”