Climate change to kill thousands, cost billions: US report

While Americans were enjoying a long holiday, a US government report after Thanksgiving warned that climate change will cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars and cause more disasters like the recent wildfires in California in the coming decades.

To escape this situation, the US must immediately cut its fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, it said.

According to the federally mandated report titled ‘Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA), Volume II’ and prepared by more than 300 scientists, regions across the country will lose billions of labour hours due to extreme heat. The quality and quantity of crops like corn and soybean and dairy products will fall drastically for the same reason.

As temperatures rise, more Americans will die due to mosquito- and tick-borne diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya and West Nile virus. Children, the old and the poor will be more vulnerable to asthma, allergies, food-borne and water-borne diseases.

Wildfires could destroy six times more forest area annually by 2050 in some regions.

Rising sea levels, floods and storms will pose serious threat to coastal areas and public infrastructure and property. The cities and towns will face more blackouts and power failures.

The report contradicted the views of President Donald Trump who seems to confuse weather with climate change.

Just two days before the climate report was released, Trump tweeted to Americans facing one of the coldest Thanksgiving. “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

For Trump, climate change is a hoax and such a view made him walk away from the Paris climate accord last year.

Shortly after releasing the report, White House dismissed the report as inaccurate as it was largely based on the most extreme scenario.

The first volume of the NCA report released in November last year had blamed climate change on human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases.