468x60 General & Logo

Federal climate report finds ‘extreme’ conditions, despite Trump’s cold shoulder

A new federal report could again challenge the Trump administration’s dismissive stance on global warming, finding that last year the planet was hotter than any time in well over a century and witnessed perhaps the most significant climate disruption in modern history. The annual State of the Climate report, published Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, confirmed that 2016 not only set a new mark for heat but broke records for sea-level rise, the amount of ocean ice and snow cover that were lost, and the level of heat-trapping pollutants in the air. While the study, recognized as the U.S. government’s most comprehensive look at climate, identified varying levels of turbulence across the globe, few spots were immune to the impacts of climate change — and some faced dire threats. Going forward, the report’s authors issued a broader warning that increasing temperatures in California and elsewhere would mean less snowfall and tighter water supplies as well as flooding in coastal areas amid rising oceans. Though climate change has rarely been documented in such detail, the report stopped short of linking the problem to what scientists agree is the leading cause — human activity, such as burning coal and gasoline. Earlier this week, however, a draft copy of the National Climate Assessment produced by 13 federal agencies made an unequivocal connection between weather extremes and human-produced greenhouse gases. “Reality does not seem to play a very significant role in the way this administration is responding to the threat of climate change,” said Peter Gleick, chief scientist and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, an Oakland think tank that studies water issues, who did not contribute to the report. The rising mercury, the report said, stems from last year’s El Niño weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean as well as the planet’s long-term warming trend. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, all drivers of atmospheric warming, recorded new highs last year, with carbon dioxide surpassing a milestone 400 parts per million for the first time in recent history.

Article by By Kurtis Alexander (c) Page One News - Read full story here.