The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
A new National Wildlife Federation (NWF) report says climate change made its presence felt in disappointing, dangerous and destructive ways this summer. From severe heat waves, devastating wildfires, catastrophic floods, serious crop damage and destructive pests expanding their range, people in most parts of the U.S. suffered the impacts scientists have predicted for years. Those impacts will spill over into next year with higher food prices and damaged ecosystems struggling to rebound.
“This summer has been the season climate change became real to many Americans,” said Joe Mendelson, NWF’s director of climate and energy policy. “From burned houses to parched fields to West Nile virus, it’s time for all political parties to start protecting our homes, families and communities. We need to get serious about reducing the uncontrolled carbon pollution that is ravaging our country.”
In reviewing independent data, NWF experts concluded that the weather of 2012 has broken records. The past 12 months were the warmest ever recorded in the U.S., with more than 113 million people in areas under extreme heat advisories as of June 29. July was the warmest July on record and the warmest month ever recorded.
Extreme weather events require costly responses, costs often borne by government at all levels. The cost of wildfire suppression, about $3 billion a year, has tripled in the U.S. since the late 1990s. The U.S. Forest Service now spends around half its annual budget fighting fires.
More frequent extreme weather with long-term consequences will continue without action to address climate change. “Heat waves, warming waters, floods, droughts, wildfires and insect and pest infestations are the new reality of an ever-warming world,” the report asserts.
The report recommends the nation quickly adopt comprehensive policies that reduce carbon pollution, and move rapidly to adopt clean energy technologies such as wind and solar power.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Erica Cirino
Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.
By Jason Bittel
High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.
By Bob Curley
- The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
- Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
- The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.
McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.
By Andrea Germanos
Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.
By Tim Radford
The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began — leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.