PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The just-released 2018 update to the National Climate Assessment, “NCA4 Vol. II,” offers more proof that we as a nation and a Commonwealth need to develop strategies right away to mitigate the effects of climate change, or face increasingly dire consequences.
The report’s analysis of specific topics and regions of the United States makes it clear that communities across the country can expect a wide variety of impacts, including worsening air quality from wildfires to threats to key infrastructure from sea level rise and extreme weather to increasing risks for vulnerable citizens such as the elderly and pregnant women. The report also looks at key impacts to regions across the country, such as shifting seasonality in the Northeast, threats to agricultural productivity in the Midwest, thawing permafrost in Alaska, and increasing vector-borne diseases in the Southeast.
David Masur, Executive Director of PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center stated:
“We used to say that climate change would impact our kids and grandkids, but we are experiencing worsening, terrible impacts now.
Our nation is reeling from some of the most destructive and tragic wildfires on record, and many communities still haven’t recovered from the massive hurricanes that hit the Gulf coast and southeastern states a few months ago. Right here in Pennsylvania, we experienced widespread flooding and dangerous heat waves throughout the summer.
In the latest National Climate Assessment, expert scientists tell us that we can expect these types of wildfires and storms to become more common and more intense in the future, unless we ratchet down carbon pollution. That means here in Pennsylvania, we can expect hotter summers, more frequent heavy downpours, and changes in our natural landscape.
We have to act strategically, with urgency, to stifle climate change. It’s time to generate 100% of our energy from clean sources and adopt transportation modes that give off zero emissions. It’s up to all of us -- from our elected officials, to the companies we buy from, to our families -- to study what the scientists say in the report, roll up our sleeves, and solve this existential challenge for our country.
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are dedicated to protecting our air, water, and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.pennenvironmentcenter.org