Extreme Temperature Diary-November 25, 2018/ Topic: More on Volume II of 4th National Climate Assessment

Sunday November 25th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. 

More On Volume II Of 4th National Climate Assessment 

Friday I posted some of the main points from Volume I of NCA4. Here is what we are seeing from Volume II (Click on the picture to get the full report.):

Quoting the main points:

1. Communities… Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the U.S. presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic  growth.

2. Economy… Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

3. Interconnected Impacts… Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

4. Actions to Reduce Risks… Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

5. Water… The quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.

6. Health… Impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.

7. Indigenous Peoples… Climate change increasingly threatens Indigenous communities’ livelihoods, economies, health, and cultural identities by disrupting interconnected social, physical, and ecological systems.

8. Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services… Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being altered by climate change, and these impacts are projected to continue. Without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, transformative impacts on some ecosystems will occur; some coral reef and sea ice ecosystems are already experiencing such transformational changes.

9. Agriculture… Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands, and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the United States. Expected increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality, and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad threaten rural livelihoods, sustainable food security, and price stability.

10. Infrastructure… Our Nation’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure is further stressed by increases in heavy precipitation events, coastal flooding, heat, wildfires, and other extreme events, as well as changes to average precipitation and temperature. Without adaptation, climate change will continue to degrade infrastructure performance over the rest of the century, with the potential for cascading impacts that threaten our economy, national security, essential services, and health and well-being.

11. Oceans & Coasts… Coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Without significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and regional adaptation measures, many coastal regions will be transformed by the latter part of this century, with impacts affecting other regions and sectors. Even in a future with lower greenhouse gas emissions, many communities are expected to suffer financial impacts as chronic high-tide flooding leads to higher costs and lower property values.

12. Tourism and Recreation Outdoor recreation, tourist economies, and quality of life are reliant on benefits provided by our natural environment that will be degraded by the impacts of climate change in many ways.

Quoting the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/climate/us-climate-report.html

[Here’s a summary of what’s new in the report.]

The report is the second volume of the National Climate Assessment, which the federal government is required by law to produce every four years. The first volume was issued by the White House last year.

The previous report, issued in May 2014, concluded with nearly as much scientific certainty, but not as much precision on the economic costs, that the tangible impacts of climate change had already started to cause damage across the country. It cited increasing water scarcity in dry regions, torrential downpours in wet regions and more severe heat waves and wildfires.

The results of the 2014 report helped inform the Obama administration as it wrote a set of landmark climate change regulations. The following year, the E.P.A. finalized President Barack Obama’s signature climate change policy, known as the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to slash planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants. At the end of the 2015, Mr. Obama played a lead role in brokering the Paris Agreement.

But in 2016, Republicans in general and Mr. Trump in particular campaigned against those regulations. In rallies before cheering coal miners, Mr. Trump vowed to end what he called Mr. Obama’s “war on coal” and to withdraw from the Paris deal. Since winning the election, his administration has moved decisively to roll back environmental regulations.

The report puts the most precise price tags to date on the cost to the United States economy of projected climate impacts: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise and $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, among others.

The findings come a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations, issued its most alarming and specific report to date about the severe economic and humanitarian crises expected to hit the world by 2040.

*But the new report also emphasizes that the outcomes depend on how swiftly and decisively the United States and other countries take action to mitigate global warming. The authors put forth three main solutions: putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, which usually means imposing taxes or fees on companies that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; establishing government regulations on how much greenhouse pollution can be emitted; and spending public money on clean-energy research.* 

*A very important point from the New York Times.

About the only other point I’ll add here is that I’ve been reading reports such as NCA4 since the 1990s. Each one’s forecasts gets a little more dire. The messages between the lines get more urgent with each assessment. As of 2018 we can now see why given what has been happening with tropical cyclones and wildfires since the last report was made in 2014.

As a reminder this year I posted 14 tipping point factor reviews this year, which can be viewed from this link: http://www.guyonclimate.com/category/climate-tipping-factors/We’ll review the tipping point factors as 2019 rolls along. The reason I bring the tipping point factors up is because climate scientists are beginning to narrow down how much more carbon the Earth’s system can take before “irreparable” harm happens, spinning the climate out of control so much that practically no amount of mitigation can save civilization from catastrophe, such as loosing most coastal cities due to sea level rise. 

As stated on this site I’m giving society one more year to show at least signs of changing. If I don’t see the planet going towards widescale necessary change by January 2020…that’s it…my posts will become very dark indeed. My mood did darken after reading most of NCR4 this weekend. It’s time for me to do something pleasant besides writing about climate today.  All reading, please keep the old Climate Guy positive during 2019.😪 

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Here is some other climate and weather news from Sunday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)

 

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

The Climate Guy

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