Scientists who worked on the report said its main messsage was that climate change was already disrupting the lives of Americans – now and in real-time – and was doing so much more strongly than scientists had expected.
The 2014 National Climate Assessment
, released Tuesday, says the impacts of climate change "are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond."
And it says we only have ourselves to blame. The federal study reports multiple lines of evidence "confirm that human activities are the primary cause of the global warming of the past 50 years."
The report says there is still time to act, however, and that the amount of future climate change "will still largely be determined by the choices society makes about emissions."
But the report says efforts to limit human-induced emissions – which come mainly from burning coal, oil and gas – are "insufficient to avoid increasingly negative social, environmental and economic consequences."
The Obama administration is using the report to call for urgent action on climate change, an issue which has been stalled in Congress. The study was produced by a team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee established by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The study looks at the effects of climate change on seven sectors; human health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests and ecosystems. Food security challenges, diminishing water quality and increasing disease risks are just a few of the climate-change related problems it identifies.