Tue May 6, 2014 By Eyder Peralta
Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:22 am
People survey the damage on Scenic Highway in Pensacola, Fla., after part of it collapsed following heavy rains and flash flooding on April 30.
Marianna Massey Getty Images
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A new U.S. government report released Tuesday finds that climate change is already having a broad impact on both weather and the economy.
NPR’s Elizabeth Shogren tells our Newscast unit the third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive look at climate change that the government has ever produced. It was put together by more than 300 experts “guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee.”
She filed this report for our Newscast unit:
“The report finds climate change is causing more frequent or intense heat waves and downpours. In some regions it’s causing more floods or droughts. Climate change already disrupts key parts of our economy — energy, transportation, agriculture and water supply. One of the authors, University of Arizona professor James Buizer, says the biggest change from the government’s last assessment is efforts underway to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt.
” ‘People are already starting to act, preparing for the climate that will be, not the climate that was,’ he says.
“But the report says these efforts so far are insufficient to avoid increasingly negative impacts.”
Update at 8:41 a.m. ET. Humans Causing Global Warming:
One of the differences between this report and its predecessors is that scientists have become more confident that human activity — specifically the burning of fossil fuels — has driven most of the warming in the past 50 years.
Here’s a stunning graphic that shows where temperatures would be based on natural warming versus where they are when you compound natural plus human factors:
Another graphic accompanying the report shows an impact most of the U.S. has experienced: The report finds a “clear national trend toward a greater amount of precipitation being concentrated in very heavy events, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest.”