Report details effects of a hotter climate

The Washington Post /

Published Jan 13, 2013 at 04:00AM

A federal advisory panel released a massive draft report Friday detailing the extent to which climate change is already transforming the nation’s landscape and Americans’ way of life, warning that these impacts will intensify in the coming decades, given the current rate of global carbon emissions.

The draft of the third National Climate Assessment — more than 1,000 pages compiled by more than 300 experts over the course of the past three years — sums up what has become increasingly apparent: The country is hotter than it used to be, rainfall is becoming both more intense and erratic, and rising seas and storm surges threaten U.S. coasts.

The overview tackles subjects ranging from ocean acidification to water scarcity, attributing many of these changes to greenhouse gas emissions released through human activities that burn fossil fuels.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy oversaw the report. The draft will be subject to public comment starting Monday. It is scheduled to be finalized in March 2014.