Scott: First up today, we are taking a look at a new report that suggests more freezing winters, longer droughts with blazing heat, flooding and tornadoes here in the U.S., all due to climate change. But it also suggests there is an opportunity to take action. And Maggie Rulli has the story.
Maggie: Americans are already feeling the impact of climate change in every corner of the country.
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan: Areas of the country that are already quite hot are likely going to get hotter, already wet places getting wetter, and already dry places getting dryer.
Maggie: A sweeping 840-page report, known as the National Climate Assessment, warns that the nation needs to be prepared for superstorms like Sandy, killer tornadoes, record rainfalls and devastating droughts. This report is being called the most complete review of climate change in the past ten years. More than 300 experts worked on it and it was reviewed by both the public and independent groups, including some of the nation’s top scientists. The report also lays out exactly how climate change is impacting the U.S. and what could happen to our country if we don’t address it.
The impact of climate change is broken down region by region. For example, it warns that the Northeast could face floods; the Southeast, rising sea levels; the Midwest, impacts to agriculture; the Southwest, water availability; and the Northwest, wildfires.
Some Republican lawmakers and energy groups are criticizing the report as alarmist and say the White House is using it to promote more government regulation.
The study recommends that the U.S. change the way it uses energy, cut carbon pollution and build infrastructure to withstand the impacts of climate change.
Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.