Published: Tue, November 27, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

White House plays down climate report's alarming findings

White House plays down climate report's alarming findings

The press release on the report says: "One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes", said Panmao Zhai, co-chair of IPCC Working Group I.

President Donald Trump is rejecting a central conclusion of a dire report on the economic costs of climate change released Friday by his own administration.

The National Climate Assessment, the fourth edition of a congressionally mandated report on climate change, noted that disasters caused by weather are becoming more common.

It says warming-charged extremes 'have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration.' The report also notes the last few years have smashed US records for damaging weather, costing almost $400 billion since 2015.

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"In light of the report's findings, it's critical that federal, state and local governments take aggressive action to protect USA residents by both reigning in emissions and helping communities adapt to the climate impacts that are now inevitable", said Brenda Ekwurzel, the director of climate science at the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the study's authors.

Reporters questioned the timing of this year's release, which came on the Friday after Thanksgiving, a national holiday when many people are traveling and shopping. It also details how people's health and different parts of the economy are being hurt. The federal report reinforces these findings, although its focus is primarily on the US.

He (Trump) has made no secret of his stance on the issue since he withdrew the United States from the Paris climate Accord, and rolled back Obama era regulations that protected the environment.

After a cold snap across much of the USA last week, some are reviving the debunked talking point that cold weather disproves climate change.

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Last year he appeared to be confused over news that it could be the coldest New Year's on record, tweeting that the country could use a little bit of global warming. The report stressed that human activity has caused droughts, storms, and flooding.

Then there was this from the report: "Global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 [degrees] from 1901 to 2016, and observational evidence does not support any credible natural explanations for this amount of warming". Asked about severe economic impacts, he said, "I don't believe it".

But even as the Trump administration has sought to downplay climate science, claiming it is exaggerated or rejecting it as a hoax - as Trump himself has done repeatedly - it has never presented an alternative body of science that challenges the key findings laid out in the report, which builds on research conducted around the world.

Several of its authors say the National Climate Assessment was rushed to release weeks before it was to be unveiled at an annual conference of the American Geophysical Union.

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