WASHINGTON: A government report warned on Friday that the United States could face more frequent severe weather including heat waves and storms for decades to come as temperatures rise far beyond levels being planned for.
The draft Third National Climate Assessment, a scientific study legally mandated to advise US policy makers, made few bones that carbon emissions have been causing climate change — a source of controversy among some lawmakers.
“Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” the study said. “The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: The planet is warming.”
The study, which was submitted for public and expert review and could be revised, said there was “strong evidence” that human activity had already roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat of the kind seen in Texas and Oklahoma in the summer of 2011.
The assessment expected temperatures to keep rising and offered different scenarios for the future — including temperatures rising between 2.8 and 5.6 degrees Celsius after 2050 if emissions climb further.