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‘It’s not a Forecast. It’s a NowCast’ is one way the National Climate Assessment report was described in media coverage of the release of the long-awaited report. The report deals with the current state of climate change in the United States and stresses that the threats from global warming are no longer distant. Climate Change is here, affecting Americans right now.

It's not a forecast. It's a NowCast

It’s Not a Forecast. It’s a NowCast

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

The U.S. report comes just days after the United Nations secretary-general urged world leaders to do more to address the threat of climate change as negotiators struggle to frame a new post-Kyoto global warming agreement in 2015. Speaking at a two-day strategy meeting in Abu Dhabi, Ban Ki-moon warned that time is running out to reduce harmful emissions and that political leaders need to offer daring commitments to drive purposeful change.

If we do not take urgent action, all our plans for increased global prosperity and security will be undone.

The National Climate Assessment report comes hot on the heels of recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC). Unlike IPCC Reports which play to a much larger and politically more complex audience, the National Climate Assessment report is produced by Americans for Americans. Its focus is strictly U.S. and it lays out in clear and indisputable detail twelve main findings that are easily understandable. Climate impacts are depicted for 10 geographical regions on agriculture, energy, forests, water resources, health, ecosysytems and transportation.

The media was quick to respond to the sense of urgency portrayed by the National Climate Assessment report. TheGuardian headline read “Climate change wreaking havoc in America’s backyard, scientists warn

“I think maybe this report will be the turning point when people finally realise that this is about them,” Susan Hassol, the chief science writer on the report, told the Guardian. “It’s about them and their lives … Earlier, they had seen it as a distant threat – distant in time, distance in space, this is about poles, this is about island nations. They haven’t seen it as a threat in their own backyard.”

The 840-page National Climate Assessment was seen as the definitive account of the effects of climate change on America, and of the country’s efforts to deal with climate change

Cable news covered the report with surprising depth. AlJazeera led with 120 minutes of coverage saying “the bottom line: we are to blame and climate change is a present-day danger.” CNN said “climate change is real and it’s killing the planet, period.”

It's not a forecast. It's a NowCast

HuffPost Green has identified “the ‘Five Scariest Charts‘ in the National Climate Assessment: change in very heavy precipitation, observed US temperature change, the incidence of 100-degree days, droughts and projected US temperature change.

President Barack Obama had a chilling warning about the failure to act on his Climate Action Plan previously released and the findings of this most recent National Climate Assessment:

The assessment is clear: Not only is climate change a problem in the future, it’s already affecting Americans. It’s increasing the likelihood of floods, increasing the likelihood of drought. It’s increasing the likelihood of storms and hurricanes. It’s having an impact on our agriculture. It’s having an impact on our tourism industries. And people’s lives are at risk. So, the emphasis on the climate action plan that I’ve put forward, as well as this assessment, is there are things we can do about it, but it’s only going to happen if the American people and people around the world take the challenge seriously.

Warming ‘increasingly disruptive’ across US


Published on May 6, 2014
Standard YouTube Licence

Excerpts from the Video:

Climate change is having significant financial, ecological and human health impacts across the US.

The number and strength of extreme weather events have increased over the past 50 years.

Infrastructure is being damaged by sea level rise, downpours and extreme heat.

Climate change is real, and “driven primarily by human activity”. A key element driving this conclusion is the observed evidence on extreme weather events such as heavy downpours of rain.

The human influence on climate has “roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat events.

It’s impossible for the night to cool the earth.

As well as food security, the report warns that millions of people and properties are at risk from rising seas. Five million people live in areas that are 1.2 metres above the local high-tide level.

Current efforts to implement emissions cuts and to adapt to changes are “insufficient to avoid increasingly negative social, environmental, and economic consequences.”

Climate change is already seriously disrupting our lives, hurting our health and damaging our economy.

There would be no region and no economic sector that would remain untouched by climate change.

If we don’t slam the brakes on the carbon pollution driving climate change, we’re dooming ourselves and our children to more intense heat waves, destructive floods and storms, and surging sea levels.

The report’s authors believe that it provides crucial ammunition for President Obama as he looks to regulate US emissions. Last year the President unveiled his Climate Action Plan that sets new rules on carbon emissions from power plants.

It will be impossible for U.S. politicians to ignore the warnings and proposed solutions of the National Climate Assessment. President Barack Obama will use the report as the stimulus for climate action during the last two years of his presidency.

This is the turning point we have all been waiting for!
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Rolly Montpellier, BoomerWarrior.orgRolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s also a  Climate Reality leader (Climate Reality Leadership Corps), a blogger, an activist and a Climate Change presenter. He has been a contributor to the Climate Change Guide, The Canadian, ClimateMama, World Daily, Georgian Bay News, The Elephant, CounterCurrents and 350Ottawa.

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