In this series, we’re highlighting important reports of relevance to the state’s problems and future for you to read while we at NJ Spotlight are on our annual winter break.
Climate change is here and already wreaking havoc on the nation’s environmental and economic systems, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment. More troubling, its impacts — deadly wildfires, stronger hurricanes and heat waves — are going to get worse, threatening the public’s health and wallets.
The study, released the day after Thanksgiving, warns the world is running out of time to allay the most disastrous consequences of a warming climate. For the first time, the congressionally mandated report detailed how climate change will affect specific regions of the country.
For the Northeast, and states like New Jersey, it means more extreme weather, more coastal flooding and rising sea levels and storm surges that could result in tens of billions of dollars in property losses in coastal communities. It will degrade air and water quality, leading to more emergency-room visits and hospitalizations, as well as additional deaths.
The most dire effects of a warming planet likely will particularly impact the most disadvantaged populations in the Northeast’s urban areas, including lower-income communities and those already burdened with pollution problems.
The more than 1,600-page report hardly sounded a clarion call to address climate change more aggressively. Here in the U.S., the Trump administration has moved to roll back more stringent rules governing emissions from coal-fired power plants. President Trump, in an interview with reporters, said he does not count himself among the “believers’’ who view climate change as dire.
Follow this link to the Fourth National Climate Assessment.
Follow this link for more Top Reports: Winter 2018.