New Analysis: Evidence of Climate Change Stronger Than Ever
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Experts say the evidence is stronger than ever that climate change is happening, and it comes with devastating consequences for Ohio and the rest of the country. According to a new draft of the National Climate Assessment, which was released Monday, the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events, are becoming more apparent.
Former White House director of Climate and Energy and EPA administrator Carol Browner says those impacts will increase as global emissions continue to rise.
"This new assessment really confirms what the scientists have been telling us and what our eyes are telling us. It's getting hotter; we're seeing more violent, more frequent storms. We're seeing impacts on the economy and we're seeing impacts on public health."
The report comes as 2012 made the record books as the hottest year in U.S. history. It presents a grim outlook for future extreme weather events, including heavier rains in the Midwest that contribute to flooding and erosion.
Browner says it indicates the need to do more to reduce the human activities contributing to greenhouse gases accelerating climate change.
Browner says that in order to curb climate-change-causing pollution, we must examine where current emissions are coming from.
The Obama administration has implemented several regulations to curtail emissions of carbon dioxide, but Browner says there is much more work to be done.
"The administration under the president's leadership has already taken some important steps but we've really got to, as a country, take this issue seriously. That's what this report is telling us."
Last year, the EPA proposed the first-ever carbon pollution standard for new power plants, and Browner says the same rules need to be made for existing power plants.
For skeptics of climate change, Browner says this report paints a clear picture of what the future will hold if human activity does not change.
"There is a very, very compelling body of science that this problem is real, and that if we don't take action, we will be left with some very serious consequences. The scientists are clear: we need to take this very seriously and we need to take action."
The assessment is issued every four years, and the current draft is available for public comment until April 12.
The report is at ncadac.globalchange.gov.