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Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

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National Climate Assessment: The Time to Act is Now

PHOTO: Drought conditions in 2012 left Indian Creek southeast of the town of Nevada with no running surface water. Photo credit: Carl Wycoff/Flickr
PHOTO: Drought conditions in 2012 left Indian Creek southeast of the town of Nevada with no running surface water. Photo credit: Carl Wycoff/Flickr
May 6, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa - What's being called the most comprehensive look at the effect of climate change on the United States finds that it is not just a problem for the future, but has moved firmly into the present. Kim Knowlton, senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council, served as one of the co-authors of the third National Climate Assessment. She says the impacts range from health to energy, and among the main concerns is water.

"Water resources are going to be and already are very impacted by increasing temperatures and longer heatwaves. That makes drought periods so much worse," Knowlton says.

She hopes that instead of continuing to kick the can down the road, these latest findings will inspire action from policy makers all around the country and at every level of government. The assessment also finds that across the country, there are numerous real and measurable effects of climate change and that it's mostly human caused, she adds.

"Climate change is caused by carbon pollution and that's caused by human activities, and it's already causing harm in this country. That said, the report does describe some of the efforts already being made to prepare, to adapt for the changes and also to limit the worst effects in the future by reducing heat-trapping carbon pollution," she explains.

Based on the evidence, more than 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening, Knowlton says.

National Climate Assessment information is available at www.NRDC.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA