Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trump can withhold, trash major climate change study

Another major boost for freedom of the press coupled with fresh concern about Trump's capacity to oppose climate change science - -  or what is known in the Trump era as Tuesday.

The New York Times discloses today a pending climate change draft report produced by 13 federal agencies - - but which the Trump administration has yet to formally release for comment- - that finds accelerating climate change linked to human activity is already causing provable harm to the United States.

Given Trump's hostility to the linkage of human activity to climate change, his removal of the US from the Paris Climate Change Accords program, and his nominations of climate change deniers or 'skepticas' to leadership positions at the US EPA and Department of Agriculture, it's hard to see how Team Trump could release the Congressionally-authorized report which found its way to the Times.

After all, what would climate science professors deniers Hannity, Limbaugh and Ron (Sunspots) Johnson have to say?

One of the draft report's conclusions as reported by the Times will not surprise Wisconsinites who have suffered through an uptick in heavy rain events:
In the United States, the report concludes with “very high” confidence that the number and severity of cool nights have decreased since the 1960s, while the frequency and severity of warm days have increased. Extreme cold waves, it says, are less common since the 1980s, while extreme heat waves are more common.
The study examines every corner of the United States and finds that all of it was touched by climate change. The average annual temperature in the United States will continue to rise, the authors write, making recent record-setting years “relatively common” in the near future. It projects increases of 5.0 to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.8 degrees Celsius) by the late century, depending on the level of future emissions.
It says the average annual rainfall across the country has increased by about 4 percent since the beginning of the 20th century. Parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast are drying up, while the Southern Plains and the Midwest are getting wetter.
As I have noted often on this blog, Wisconsin and Great Lakes officials have been warned since 2003 that climate change was leading to heavier rain events and the need for better flood control, yet the Walker administration shelved the Doyle administration's global warming task force, slowed solar and wind power installations, stifled transit services and, late last year, scrubbed climate change information and documented findings from public, official websites.

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