White House Climate report 4 years late

By: cyclonebuster , 5:43 PM GMT on May 30, 2008

White House issues climate report 4 years late
By SETH BORENSTEIN – 22 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under a court order and four years late, the White House Thursday produced what it called a science-based "one-stop shop" of specific threats to the United States from man-made global warming.

While the report has no new science in it, it pulls together different U.S. studies and localizes international reports into one comprehensive document required by law. The 271-page report is notable because it is something the Bush administration has fought in the past.

Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist who was not involved in the effort called it "a litany of bad news in store for the U.S."

And Thomas Lovejoy, a biologist who chaired the group of scientists who reviewed the report for the federal government said: "It basically says the America we've known we can no longer count on. It's a pretty dramatic picture of all kinds of change rippling through natural systems across the country. And all of that has implications for people."

White House associate science director Sharon Hays, in a teleconference with reporters, declined to characterize the findings as bad, but said it is an issue the administration takes seriously. She said the report was comprehensive and "communicates what the scientists are telling us."

That includes:

_ Increased heat deaths and deaths from climate-worsened smog. In Los Angeles alone yearly heat fatalities could increase by more than 1,000 by 2080, and the Midwest and Northeast are most vulnerable to increased heat deaths.

_ Worsening water shortages for agriculture and urban users. From California to New York, lack of water will be an issue.

_ A need for billions of dollars in more power plants (one major cause of global warming gases) to cool a hotter country. The report says summer cooling will mean Seattle's energy consumption would increase by 146 percent with the warming that could come by the end of the century.

_ More death and damage from wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters and extreme weather. In the last three decades, wildfire season in the West has increased by 78 days.

_ Increased insect infestations and food- and waterborne microbes and diseases. Insect and pathogen outbreaks to the forests are causing $1.5 billion in annual losses.

"Finally, climate change is very likely to accentuate the disparities already evident in the American health care system," the report said. "Many of the expected health effects are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the uninsured."

The report was required by a 1990 law which says that every four years the government must produce a comprehensive science assessment of global warming. It had not been done since 2000.

Environmental groups got a court order last summer to force the Bush administration to produce the document by the end of this month. Hays said the White House has preferred issuing studies on individual global warming issues, such as an agricultural effects report that was released on Tuesday.

"It's totally begrudging," said Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch at the nonprofit Government Accountability Project, a whistleblowers' organization. "It's important the government go on record honestly acknowledging this stuff."


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4. cyclonebuster
1:16 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
We humans.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 20890
3. GulfScotsman
5:49 PM GMT on May 30, 2008
which humans?
Member Since: June 15, 2006 Posts: 455 Comments: 13538
2. cyclonebuster
5:48 PM GMT on May 30, 2008
White House: Humans “Very Likely” Causing Warming
Posted by Keith Johnson
This just in from the White House: Global warming is real, and humans are very likely to blame.

Music to my ears (AP)
“Scientific Assesment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States,” one of two reports released today by the Bush administration, acknowledges that rising temperatures and a changing climate could pose challenges for everything from agriculture and water to energy use.

The language, tough by the administration’s standards, largely parrots previous reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, down to the “likely” and “very likely” italics. But the reports are still significant, given the popular perception for years that the administration was at odds with the bulk of scientific research.

The conclusion? “[M]ost of the recent global warming is very likely due to human generated increases in greenhouse gas concentrations.” While there are still questions about the role of sunspots and other natural variations, the report says that “emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use and from the effects of land use change are the primary sources of this increase.”

As for the impacts, the report paints a fairly grim picture. In the short term, warmer temperatures and higher CO2 concentrations will be good for agriculture—before becoming a bad thing. The health impacts will probably be bad on balance—more malaria, Lyme disease and the like. Ecosystems will suffer. Water supplies will tighten.

But for all the talk about how global warming is affecting the energy mix, the adminsistration’s take on energy is especially interesting: “To date, most discussions on energy and climate change have focused on mitigating human effects on climate. However, along with this role as a driver of climate change, the energy sector will be subject to the effects of climate change.” That is, the U.S. will need more juice the hotter it gets.

And not just for air conditioning, though that’s big part of it. Industrial processes will require more energy, like big refrigeration units. Farms and cities will need more pumped water, requiring more electricity. The upshot?

[C]limate change is expected to cause a significant increase in the demand for electricity in the United States, which would require the building of additional electricity production facilities (and probably transmission facilities) at an estimated cost of many billions of dollars.

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 20890
1. GulfScotsman
5:45 PM GMT on May 30, 2008
I heard on NPR the other day that nitrogen on the worlds farms adds up to more than every single automobile in the United States in terms of adding to green house gas.

And that if they just cut nitrogen use by half -

We could drive hummers and SUV's for another generation without killing the planet.

AGAIN.... it is the legend.

(slash/aka/ergo/.... the game)
Member Since: June 15, 2006 Posts: 455 Comments: 13538

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