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The effects of climate change are here now

The effects of climate change are here now

The effects of climate change are already being felt in the United States, according to The National Climate Assessment.

The New York Times has the story:

The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects.

Such sweeping changes have been caused by an average warming of less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit over most land areas of the country in the past century, the scientists found. If greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane continue to escalate at a rapid pace, they said, the warming could conceivably exceed 10 degrees by the end of this century.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the scientists declared in a major new report assessing the situation in the United States.

The story has a religious aspect. As Chris Mooney of Mother Jones writes in a profile of Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe:

Recent data from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication suggests that while 64 percent of Americans think global warming is real and caused by human beings, only 44 percent of evangelicals do.

Because evangelicals play such a prominent role in the Republican party, their beliefs may make it more difficult for our country to diminish the behaviors that contribute to climate change.

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Nurya Parish

Related: today's Guardian op/ed: Faith leaders need to find their Voice on climate change (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/07/faith-leaders-voice-climate-change) and www.ourvoices.net collecting the prayers of many for the 2015 Paris talks

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