Energy the key to fight climate change

Marsha Scott
August 10, 2017

They say average US temperatures have risen rapidly since 1980 and are now the warmest in 1,700 years.

We often talk about climate change as a far-off problem that will affect our children and grandchildren, but climate change is already affecting Americans right now, according to a USA government report published on Tuesday by The New York Times. The report, final draft dated June 28, also goes against the Trump administration's assertion that human contribution to climate change is unknown, and that the ability in predicting its effects is sparse. The report warned that if carbon emissions were not curbed, then the global temperature would rise above two degrees Celsius and cause irreversible damage on an unprecedented scale. It's "extremely likely" that more than half of the global average temperature increase since 1951 is linked to human influence.

A draft government climate assessment The New York Times "obtained" and claims is not yet public has actually been available online since January, according to scientists who worked on the report.

Katharine Hayhoe, a political science professor at Texas Tech University and government scientist, told the newspaper that the report's conclusions are the "most comprehensive climate science reports" ever published.

Haley made her comments after the show to anchor Matt Lauer when he asked her about a sweeping new report from scientists at 13 federal agencies, which says the effects of global climate change are already being felt.

The story said that the National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft, but scientists are "awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it".

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"How much more the climate will change depends on future emissions and the sensitivity of the climate system to those emissions", the draft report states in the Times article.

SCOTT PRUITT: I think measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do. It cites "many lines of evidence" from thousands of peer-reviewed studies documenting climate changes on land and in the air. The President said the decision was to protect American jobs and he promised to protect the environment.

In an an interview last November with the New York Times Trump said there was "some connectivity" between human actions and climate change, but said he was unsure "if anybody is ever going to really know" for sure. It also found an increase in extreme precipitation events in the Northeast.

Like the delay in publishing the draft report, the emergence of the emails has stoked fears the Trump administration is attempting to censor the climate change debate in favour of promoting the exploitation of America's fossil fuel reserves.

For instance, scientists already know that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warms the planet; otherwise, Earth would be too cold for life, he said. As temperatures continue to increase, surface soil will be drier, oceans will be warmer and more acidic, sea levels will rise and large forest fires will be more common.

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