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SOURCE: Think Progress

DATE: Aug 10, 2017

SNIP: Climate change could be a lot worse for America than you thought. That’s one of the messages from deep inside the 600-page final draft of the Congressionally-mandated National Climate Assessment (NCA) that was leaked to the New York Times this week [NOTE: A previous draft of the report was also available online].

If America stays on its current emissions path—often referred to as business-as-usual, or for all intents and purposes, the path President Donald Trump seems determined to follow—the assessment identifies four extreme outcomes that could take a substantial toll on people across the country.

  • Sea level rise of 1 foot per decade after 2050, and 2 feet per decade after 2100.
  • Devastating drops in soil moisture across most of the country, including our breadbaskets.
  • Weakening of the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation, which would speed up warming and sea level rise.
  • What the report refers to as “Potential surprises: Compound extremes and tipping elements.”

In essence, the study lays out the choice between manageable warming (if we embrace and then keep strengthening the Paris climate agreement) and unmanageable catastrophe (if we pursue Trump’s policies of undoing global and U.S. climate action).