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Climate report predicts more erratic weather nationwide

A report by the National Climate Assessment says global warming will worsen a series of weather trends.
May 6, 2014 5:13:24 PM PDT
A National Climate Assessment released by the Obama Administration says global warming will contribute to increasingly extreme and destructive weather trends already showing up across the nation.

From heavier rainstorms in the Midwest, bigger wildfires in the west, hotter heat waves and droughts to longer allergy seasons: the federal report acknowledges that climate change is not only already impacting the world, but is likely to get worse and more expensive.

"Not tomorrow or 10 years from now, global warming is here today," said JPL Project Scientist Josh Willis, who worked on the new report.

The 840-page National Climate Assessment says the effects of climate change will bring more destructive storms and surging sea-levels. Agricultural areas like the Central Valley could see dwindling water supplies. California is in the midst of a record-breaking drought, but the report predicts it could get worse.

"We're in one now, we've been in one for most of the last decade or longer, and global warming is increasing temperatures. That exacerbates the drought and makes water use all the more critical," said Willis.

As weather patterns become increasingly erratic, many people worry what this means for future generations.

President Barack Obama says this report shows we need to cut carbon pollution now.

"We also have a chance to turn back these rising temperatures if we take some bold actions now, and that's gonna require a combination of government action and business action," said President Obama.

Many conservative think tanks, fossil energy groups, and Republican senators immediately called the report "alarmist", and said it's being used to justify government outreach and President Obama's political agenda.

"He'll use the platform to renew his call for a national energy tax, and I'm sure he'll get loud cheers from liberal elites - from the kind of people who leave a giant carbon footprint and then lecture everybody else about low-flow toilets," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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