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Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Report: Changing Climate Endangers Summer Activities

Summer fly-fishing in Montana could be under threat from rising temperatures because of climate change. (Preston Keres/U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
Summer fly-fishing in Montana could be under threat from rising temperatures because of climate change. (Preston Keres/U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
August 15, 2018

HELENA, Mont. - Some of the country's most cherished summer activities are under threat from climate change, according to a report released today.

The National Wildlife Federation's "Safeguarding Summer" report found that hotter summer temperatures are leading to more tick-borne diseases, algae blooms in lakes and rivers, eroding beaches and even more baseball game rainouts.

Kathy Hadley, chair of the National Wildlife Federation's board of directors and an avid fly-fisher in Montana, said the warmer temperatures already have affected the state's world-renowned rivers.

"Due to low flows and high water temperatures, Fish, Wildlife and Parks restricted angler use of almost all of our major rivers in the state in the summertime, sometimes as early as June," she said. "So that affects Montana people, or families who enjoy the outdoors, but it also affects jobs in Montana."

Nearly half of Americans spend time outdoors in the summer, on activities such as camping, canoeing and hunting, according to the report. Outdoor recreation contributed nearly $890 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 7.5 million jobs in 2016.

While the report looks at how the effects of climate change could be wrecking summer fun across the country, it also suggests possible solutions, such as carbon pricing and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

Doug Inkley, retired senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation, said the country needs to invest in clean energy.

"We not just can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but we have the means to actually use alternative energy sources," he said. "Now's the time; the sooner we do it, the better. If we wait too long, it's going to become much, much harder to do and the impacts of climate change are going to be much greater on all of us."

The report also calls for reducing carbon emissions from the power sector and regulations to encourage fuel-efficient vehicles. However, it points out that the Trump administration has proposed rolling back many of these climate policies.

The "Safeguarding Summer" report is online at nwf.org/summer.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT