Some environmental and public health groups expect the U.S.
National Climate Assessment to be a "game changer" in the
administration's efforts to address climate change.
The extensive report will update a January 2013 draft, which
detailed how consequences of climate change are hitting on several
fronts, including health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture
and especially more frequent severe weather.
Since then, the report was reviewed by the National Academies of
Sciences and attracted more than 4,000 public comments.
The advisory committee behind the report was established by the U.S.
Department of Commerce to integrate federal research on
environmental change and its implications for society. It made two
earlier assessments, in 2000 and 2009.
Thirteen departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department
to NASA, are part of the committee, which also includes academics,
businesses, non-profit organizations and others. More than 240
scientists contributed to the report.
"We expect it will paint a huge amount of practical, usable
knowledge that state and local decision-makers can take advantage of
as they plan on or for the impacts of climate change and work to
make their communities more resilient," John Podesta, an adviser to
President Barack Obama, said on Monday.
Podesta said the administration hopes that conveying the warnings
contained in the report can help the administration implement the
president's Climate Action Plan, which was unveiled in June 2013 and
focuses on executive actions Obama can use to rein in polluters.
As part of that outreach Obama will speak with several local and
nationally known meteorologists on Tuesday, including the NBC Today
Show's Al Roker.
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Among the key findings in the draft report expected to be reiterated
are that the past decade was the country's warmest on record, and
that some extreme weather events, such as prolonged droughts and
heavier downpours, have increased.
Extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change also
increase the risk of disease transmission and even mental health
problems, the 2013 draft said.
Also expected to be featured is an ongoing sea-level rise, which
increases the risk of erosion and storm surge damage and raises the
stakes for the nearly 5 million Americans who live within four feet
of the local high-tide level.
Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center of
Georgetown University, said the climate assessment will focus on
solutions not just dire warnings.
"You really can't just provide a report that paints this dark
picture of all these impacts. You have to couple it with a message
of what our government can do about it, what you can do about it and
what our communities can do," she said.
The report is expected to be posted in the Federal Register at 8
a.m. ET Tuesday.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici, Editing by Ros Krasny and Ken
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