Government report on global warming contradicts Trump claims

In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia, Calif. A massive new federal report warns that extreme weather disasters, like California’s wildfires and 2018’s hurricanes, are worsening in the United States. | Associated Press photo by Noah Berger, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of disasters are worsening in the United States because of global warming. The White House report quietly issued Friday also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump.

The National Climate Assessment was written long before the deadly fires in California this month and before Hurricanes Florence and Michael raked the East Coast and Florida. It says warming-charged extremes “have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration.” The report notes the last few years have smashed U.S. records for damaging weather, costing nearly $400 billion since 2015.

The recent Northern California wildfires can be attributed to climate change, but there was less of a connection to those in Southern California, said co-author William Hohenstein of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“A warm, dry climate has increased the areas burned over the last 20 years,” he said at a press conference Friday.

The report is mandated by law every few years and is based on more than 1,000 previous research studies. It details how global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas is hurting each region of the United States and how it impacts different sectors of the economy, including energy and agriculture.

“Climate change is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us,” the report says.

This Oct. 12, 2018, file photo shows devastation from Hurricane Michael over Mexico Beach, Fla. | Associated Press photo by Gerald Herbert, St. George News

That includes worsening air pollution causing heart and lung problems, more diseases from insects, the potential for a jump in deaths during heat waves, and nastier allergies.

“Annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” the report says. It’ll be especially costly on the nation’s coasts because of rising seas and severe storm surges, which will lower property values. And in some areas, such as parts of Alaska and Louisiana, coastal flooding will likely force people to relocate.

“We are seeing the things we said would be happening, happen now in real life,” said another co-author Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University. “As a climate scientist it is almost surreal.”

And Donald Wuebbles, a co-author from University of Illinois climate scientist, said, “We’re going to continue to see severe weather events get stronger and more intense.”

What makes the report different from others is that it focuses on the United States, then goes more local and granular.

“All climate change is local,” said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Richard Alley, who wasn’t part of the report but praised it.

While scientists talk of average global temperatures, people feel extremes more, he said. “We live in our drought, our floods and our heat waves. That means we have to focus on us.”

The Lower 48 states have warmed 1.8 degrees since 1900 with 1.2 degrees in the last few decades, according to the report. By the end of the century, the U.S. will be 3 to 12 degrees hotter depending on how much greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, the report warns.

Outside scientists and officials from 13 federal agencies wrote the report, which was released on the afternoon following Thanksgiving.

It was originally scheduled for December. The report often clashes with the president’s past statements and tweets on the legitimacy of climate change science, how much of it is caused by humans, how cyclical it is and what’s causing increases in recent wildfires.

Trump tweeted this week about the cold weather hitting the East including: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

Friday’s report seemed to anticipate such comments, saying: “Over shorter timescales and smaller geographic regions, the influence of natural variability can be larger than the influence of human activity … Over climate timescales of multiple decades, however, global temperature continues to steadily increase.”

Releasing the report on Black Friday “is a transparent attempt by the Trump Administration to bury this report and continue the campaign of not only denying but suppressing the best of climate science,” said study co-author Andrew Light, an international policy expert at the World Resources Institute.

During a press conference Friday, officials behind the report repeatedly declined to answer questions about the timing of its release and why it contradicts public statements from Trump. Report director David Reidmiller said questions about the timing were “relevant,” but said what was in the report was more important.

Trump, administration officials and elected Republicans frequently say they can’t tell how much of climate change is caused by humans and how much is natural.

Citing numerous studies, the report 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.

“There are no credible alternative human or natural explanations supported by the observational evidence,” the report says.

Written by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • commonsense November 23, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    No one argues about climate change but there is massive science showing man and his activities may have little to do with it.

    I love the smear and run tactics of the left. Trump has never denied climate change but some AP anonymous writer failed to source “contradicts Trump claims” or even quote them. Throw something out, hide behind your employer and it stirs more misunderstanding and hatred. Trump now denies science even though there is no attempt to explain where or when.

    This is much like the accusations against Kavanaugh. Make an accusation, the news will run with it
    and it doesn’t matter that it never happened, pure fabrication. it’s a major tool of Democrats and
    the bass of fake news.

    • theone November 24, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Source to this massive science showing man has little to do with it.

      • Chris November 24, 2018 at 1:13 pm

        commonsense clearly has no scientific background, and therefore, has no sources.

      • Jacqwayne November 25, 2018 at 8:28 am

        Here is an excerpt from the book “Where Does the Carbon Dioxide Really Come From?”, by Ian Plimer (you can Google him):

        “The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just four days – yes, FOUR DAYS – by that volcano in Iceland has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time – EVERY DAY.”

        • theone November 25, 2018 at 10:48 am

          No scientist says the natural world isn’t partly to blame. So your point is?

    • Chris November 24, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      You are very wrong about Trump. On November 6, 2012, Trump tweeted:

      “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

      This only one of many examples where he denied climate change. If you had spent 30 seconds with a search engine, you would know this.

  • jaltair November 24, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Interesting how some can’t accept scientific data. There are just too many studies on the topic to stay in denial. Why?

    • Carpe Diem November 24, 2018 at 8:30 am

      In other news, there are riots in Paris due to the new Paris Climate Accord taxes on fuel. Guess what the new taxes are going to fix?

  • jh9000 November 24, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Last I checked Trump is not a scientist nor is he intelligent enough to listen to them. Glad I don’t have kids who will inherit and have to survive this worsening environmental wasteland.

  • sheepobserver November 24, 2018 at 7:07 am

    To those that think only mother nature is in control of the environment/climate.
    Can we as a race of people launch all of our nuclear weapons and change the environment/climate tomorrow? How many decades would the climate be affected by a man made event? How many animals would go extinct because of that man made event?

    What if we cut and burned every tree and forest in the world over the next year? Would that not have an effect on the weather/climate?

    Well, that’s running the faucet at full speed for a minute………we are doing the same things now, it’s just that we’re dripping into that bucket instead of running it full blast. It’s adding up, and we’re headed towards a tipping point. I’m skeptical that the “scientists” have the exact dates correct, but common sense tells me it’s inevitable that it will happen.

    A lot of people argue that climate change has being going on since the beginning of time, and as a believer in science, yeah, that seems to be a fact. Again, though, the planet has a “natural” time frame for changing her climate, and that time frame is very slow allowing animals to adapt and evolve into surviving. Surely some would go extinct, but there’d be a fighting chance for them if the changes occurred over thousands of years vs. the changes occurring over hundreds of years. We as humans are compounding the time frame. Nature’s natural drip in the bucket, compounded by man’s even faster drops in the same bucket……….it’s filling up at least twice as fast as it has in the past.

    Here’s an interesting article about those who claim volcanoes put more pollution out than man.
    Looking at that article, the drop in the bucket is the volcanoes on average. Man puts far more pollution into the air every year than all of the active volcanoes combined.

    To the people that claim it’s all about the greenies trying to get more money. Yeah, who isn’t trying to get more money. That’s what all of human life revolves around, so of course everyone wants some.
    The reality is, though, that the richest people in the world (the oil and gas people like the Koch brothers…..the richest humans on the planet with the most power to manipulate a government) are the one’s who stand to LOSE money. They literally have more influence over our government than all of the greenies combined. What makes more sense? The richest people in the world with the most power don’t want to lose their foothold, or the leftist hippies just want to make a buck off solar?

    The best part is, I don’t really care what you’all do. I’ve nothing invested in the future here, have no kids, and am looking forward to the show before I leave here. My car gets 10 mpg, I’ve never used my blue can to recycle anything, and I love the idea of having cheap fossil fuels around until the end of my days. Upgrading to solar or clean fuel sources isn’t worth the investment to me.

    Those of you with kids, though………

    • Comment November 24, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Good long rant there. I’m in the the same boat as someone who’s quickly learning to not care. I have no kids either and no plans to ever have kids, and so not really anything invested in whatever the future holds for this earth. It still makes me a bit sad at times to see wild places and wildlife being destroyed at such a quick pace, and I’ll always be a conservationist at heart. But, if nutters have no problems with climate change or whatever, I don’t really care either. I have no reason to. Whatever happens will happen. I guess we’ll see what happens. LOL

  • Carpe Diem November 24, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Yup. Trump’s fault! Orange man bad.

  • commonsense November 24, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I had to read the article again. This anonymous AP writer blames Trump for climate change. Find me a single reference where Trump denies climate change. Climate change has occurred since time began. Has man contributed? Possibly, but not certainly. Have Democrats used climate change for political division? Of course!

  • hiker75 November 24, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Thump has to cater to his donors.

  • commonsense November 24, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Trump has no donors. He works for nothing and financed his own campaign. Unlike Obama who benefited greatly from failed solar and wind generated businesses.

    • Chris November 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      that’s total b.s. Trump is bankrolled by the Russians and the Saudis. We are about to hear all about this in the coming congressional investigations.

    • iceplant November 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      “But… but.. but… OBAMA!!!!”

      What’s next? You wanna blame Hillary for something? Is that you, Sean Hannity ???

  • commonsense November 24, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Sheepobserver you made some great points and I love your bucket metaphor. Thank you..

    • Chris November 24, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      LOL, you are oblivious that he refuted your argument quite impressively.

    • sheepobserver November 24, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks! I just thought that bucket thing up as I was writing it this morning. Made sense to me.

      It’s just my opinion on how I perceive the situation.

  • commonsense November 24, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Chris, does it occur to you that Mueller and his team who have been digging for two years so far, has made no indictments? Oh, and what did the Russians get in return?

    BTW Trump doesn’t need to to be bankrolled. He has been independently wealthy for decades. Unlike the Clintons. Trump will leave office with less than he had when he entered.

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