Federal Report Makes Shocking Finding on Climate Change
Shocking in that the Trump administration signed off on it, anyway
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2017 4:06 PM CDT
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In this Oct. 9, 2017 photo, Jim Stites watches part of his neighborhood burn in Fountain Grove, Calif.   (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP, File)

(Newser) – "It's extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of" climate change over the past century, according the fourth National Climate Assessment. "There is no convincing alternative explanation." The report, which concludes climate change is real and almost entirely caused by humans, was released Friday by the Trump administration, the Washington Post reports. Surprised? So were some scientists, who expected the administration to try to block the release of the report or change its scientific findings, as happened to an early assessment released under George W. Bush. Instead, the report's coordinating lead author says there was no meddling from lawmakers, and the White House Office of Science and Technology even signed off on it, according to USA Today.

The findings of the 2,000-page report directly contradict statements made by President Trump, Energy secretary Rick Perry, and EPA head Scott Pruitt, who removed similar findings from the EPA website earlier this year. The report warns of a potential 8-foot rise in sea level by 2100 and increases in floods, large wildfires, extreme heat, and rainfall in the US. Coastal property damage could hit $120 billion annually by 2090, the same year annual deaths from extreme temperatures could reach 9,300. And the report states it could be underselling things because of climate "surprises" when unexpected tipping points are reached. The peer-reviewed assessment—which was produced by hundreds of scientists and 1,500 reports and studies—states the only solution is to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.

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