The report finds that U.S. temperatures will continue rising 2 degrees F to 4 degrees F in most areas in the coming decades, and calls for effort to increase resilience to changes that cannot be avoided.
But it’s unclear how high temperatures will climb. The report provides a range of 3 degrees F to 5 degrees F by century’s end if global emissions are reduced sharply after 2050, and up to 10 degrees F if they’re not.
Average U.S. temperatures have risen roughly 1.5 degrees F since 1895, and more than 80 percent of that increase has occurred since 1980, the report concludes.
The report was written by more than 300 government scientists and outside experts, but German reports: “Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said in a statement Friday that he plans to vet climate science in the new Congress.” Smith is a devout Christian Scientist and trained as a lawyer…
Meanwhile, a White House blog post reminded us all that the Obama administration’s not exactly tripping over itself to take action either. The report is to be seen as simply ”a scientific document” which ”makes no policy recommendations”.
With ten degrees of possible warming and a hotter, drier, more disaster prone nation in our grandchildren’s future if we don’t take urgent and radical action, you’d think the policy recommendations would write themselves. Infrastructure investment, alternative energy, energy conservation, food and water security, massive emmissions reductions, reign in the profiligacy of the capitalist consumer economy. What we should do about climate change isn’t exactly rocket science – it’s just bad-tasting medicine that’s politically unpopular and so short-termist politicians will continue to kick the can down the road.