Flooded rail lines. Bigger, more frequent droughts. A rash of wildfires.
Those are some of the alarming predictions in a White House climate change report released Tuesday, part of President Barack Obama’s broader second-term effort to help the nation prepare for the effects of higher temperatures, rising sea levels and more erratic weather.
“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the National Climate Assessment says, adding that the evidence of man-made climate change “continues to strengthen” and that “impacts are increasing across the country.”
“Americans are noticing changes all around them,” the report says, echoing a draft version from last year. “Summers are longer and hotter. … Rain comes in heavier downpours.”
In a statement released to coincide with the report’s publication, the White House called for a rapid response.
“The findings in this National Climate Assessment underscore the need for urgent action to combat the threats from climate change, protect American citizens and communities today, and build a sustainable future for our kids and grandkids,” the White House said.