3 key points from climate report



Opinion columnist Jack Ave discusses the consequences the earth will face if people, especially government officials, continue to deny the existence of climate change as a result of human behavior.

JACK AVE, Opinion Columnist

“Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

@realDonaldTrump 11/21/2018

Last Friday, the United States government published the National Climate Assessment, a report that measures the development of climate change backed by thirteen federal agencies. This extensive report tracks the effects of climate change on the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the thirteen agencies who authored the report, released a press statement detailing the assessment as, “A new federal report finds that climate change is affecting the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation and human health and welfare across the U.S. and its territories.”

It seems that the current administration’s attempt to bury the report the day after a Thanksgiving failed. The hash tag #ClimateFriday gained popularity over the holiday weekend, picking up momentum from tweets by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Former Vice-President Al Gore.

Two days before the release of the report, President Donald J. Trump preemptively tweeted an attack on climate change believers. However, the Associated Press found on Saturday, Nov. 24 that the report from his own administration “frequently contradicts” Trump.

While the report faces criticisms of being inaccessible and hard to read for the average citizen, there are three key take-a-ways that every person should be aware of.

1. Climate change is caused by human activity

While a vast majority of the scientific community believes that climate change is anthropocentric, critics of environmental protection claim that any extreme heating or cooling is rather caused by natural weather cycles.

Seth Borenstein from the Associated Press debunked this when he reported that, “Citing numerous studies, the [National Climate Assessment] says more than 90 percent of the current warming is caused by humans. Without greenhouse gases, natural forces — such as changes in energy from the sun — would be slightly cooling Earth.”

2. Extreme heat will become more common; extreme cold will become less likely

In the first chapter of the assessment, the authors found that the length of heat-wave season has increased by over forty-days in the last sixty years. The report finds that, “Extreme high temperatures are projected to increase even more than average temperatures. Cold waves are projected to become less intense and heat waves more intense. The number of days below freezing is projected to decline, while the number of days above 90°F is projected to rise.”

3. Climate change has magnified the damage of wildfires

With the recent fires across California making national headlines, this assessment offers an explanation as to why this widespread devastation was so hard to contain. The report found that, “Climate change has driven the wildfire increase, particularly by drying forests and making them more susceptible to burning. Specifically, increased temperatures have intensified drought in California, contributed to drought in the Colorado River Basin, reduced snowpack, and caused spring-like temperatures to occur earlier in the year.”

All in all, the 2018 National Climate Assessment paints a gruesome picture for our immediate future. However, public officials who don’t take this report seriously are ignoring the warning signs from their own government. Until action is taken, this report confirms that more innocent lives will be lost at the hands of climate change deniers. When politicians look at the climate crisis through a rose-colored glass, the red flags just look like flags.