Federal Report Warns Of "Climate Disruption" - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Federal Report Warns Of "Climate Disruption"

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A new federal scientific report says global warming is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy and dangerous. And those shining seas? Rising and costly.

The new National Climate Assessment, released Tuesday, concludes that the harms of global warming will become more and more disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond. The report emphasizes how warming and its all-too wild weather is changing daily lives, even using the phrase "climate disruption" as another way of saying global warming.

But the 840-page report says it's not too late to prevent the worst of climate change. The White House is highlighting the science and effects of warming as it tries to jump start often-stalled efforts to curb heat-trapping gases.

Washington State is part of the National Climate Assessment's U.S. Northwest Region.  The report highlights: "The Northwest's economy, infrastructure, natural systems, public health, and agriculture sectors all face important climate change related risks. Impacts on infrastructure, natural systems, human health, and economic sectors, combined with issues of social and ecological vulnerability, will unfold quite differently in largely natural areas, like the Cascade Range, than in urban areas like Seattle and Portland, or among the region’s many Native American tribes.  Seasonal water patterns shape the life cycles of the region’s flora and fauna, including iconic salmon and steelhead, and forested ecosystems. Adding to the human influences on climate, human activities have altered natural habitats, threatened species, and extracted so much water that there are already conflicts among multiple users in dry years. As conflicts and trade-offs increase, the region’s population continues to grow. Particularly in the face of climate change, the need to seek solutions to these conflicts is becoming increasingly urgent.” (NCA Highlights, p. 80)

In Washington, efforts are already underway to prepare communities for the consequences of climate change.  The report lists examples of these efforts as, "land-use planning; provisions to protect infrastructure and ecosystems; regulations related to the design and construction of buildings, road, and bridges; and preparation for emergency response and recovery."

Highlights of ways Washington State is trying to curb climate change:

*Renewable energy generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources increased nearly 80%.

*Since 2009, 155 renewable energy projects have been created in Washington generating power to more than 280,000 homes and helping WA meet a goal of generating 15% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

*Seattle has committed to reduce energy intensity by 20% by the year 2020 in 23 million square feet of City buildings.

*Spokane County has committed to reduce energy intensity by 20% in 10 years in 1.16 million square feed of buildings.

*Camas School District met and surpassed their energy intensity reduction goal in 2012, by reducing energy by at least 20%.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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