June 16th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
6 years ago

White House report warns of climate change effects

A new report from the Obama administration says man-made climate change is a threat to human health.
A new report from the Obama administration says man-made climate change is a threat to human health.

(CNN) – Man-made climate change threatens to stress water resources, challenge crops and livestock, raise sea levels, and adversely affect human health, according to a strongly-worded report from the Obama administration released Tuesday.

The nearly 200-page document on global climate change - released by the White House science adviser and mandated by Congress - does not include new research, but encompasses several recent studies on the effects of global warming over the last half century.

Among the report's key findings are an "unequivocal and primarily human-induced" rise in the earth's temperate of 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 50 years, and a projection of more rapidly changing temperatures over the next several decades.

The continuing temperature rise is likely to spur a series of negative consequences for the Earth's energy supply, water, transportation, ecosystems and health, the report also states.

"[The report] tells us why remedial action is needed sooner rather than later, as well as showing why that action must include both global emissions reductions to reduce the extent of climate change and local adaptation measures to reduce the damage from the changes that are no longer avoidable," said John P. Holdren, the White House science adviser.

Among the report's specific predictions are longer and more intense heat waves, increased heavy downpours likely to cause widespread complications such as flooding and waterborne diseases, rising water temperatures, and an increase in wildfires and insect infestations.

The report comes as Congress debates a White House-backed climate change bill that seeks to reduce the United State's greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap and trade" program.

The bill cleared a key House committee vote last month and could be considered by the entire chamber within the next two weeks, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

The bill's future remains unclear in the Senate, where leaders are holding off advancing their own version of the legislation until it clears the lower chamber.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    I guess last winter's cold (the coldest winter in decades) is a distant forgotten memory.

    Climate change is the perfect excuse for a new tax. It is unproven (think eugenics in the 1900-1920 period); politically popular; part of pop culture (Oblamas normal intellectual ground); and is considered a crises by the political class.

    Now Oblama will use cap & trade to fund health care (not climate related) and the Waxman bill is designed to keep companies paying the tax rather than invest in "alternative" resources (gotta keep that money flowing into Washington).

    I think any two-bit tyrant in the Middle East would be better for American than Oblama.

    June 16, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I commend the Administration for this report. If we seriously want to change global warming, other countries need to be involved. Especially China. Just looking at the smog filled air over there is evidence to me that global warming is partially man-made.

    June 16, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Finally an honest White House about global warming and climate change.

    'Cause ya can't fix it if you don't first recognize it's broken.

    We all hope it is not too late.

    June 16, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Willy Brown

    I smell another obama tax hike coming on.

    June 16, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Zero.

    Fewer and fewer people, can afford a Summer Break..

    June 16, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. JonDie

    Unfortunately most American adults never get to the highest stages of cognition, with which one can understand "global warming." Most Americans remain at a level somewhere between adolescence and young adulthood.

    June 16, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. history repeats

    phoenix86

    yea and im sure you think evolution is just a THEORY, which would make it an opinion right? not really enough proof of that either right? you people are literally out of your mind!!! global warming does not mean winter will now be hotter every year its a little more complicated than that. how about you do more research than just asking the leader of your church group!! also the "political class"?? does that mean people that are interested in politics instead of sports?! a 2 bit tyrant in the middle east will be better to run america than a harvard graduate?! see this is why republicans are backwards because they would rather have the country fall apart then EVER admit they are voting for the wrong people! absolutely pathetic. 95% of scientists agree on global warming, i guess they are all in cahoots with the greedy democrats that are trying to raise your taxes!!!!

    June 16, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Jack

    World Temperatures according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. Note the steep drop over the last year.
    Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

    Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile - the list goes on and on.
    No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
    A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C - a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.
    Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.
    Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans - and most of the crops and animals we depend on - prefer a temperature closer to 70.
    Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.

    June 16, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Thin is in?

    These are the same alarmists that warned us of "Global cooling" in the 70's and uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh "Killer bees" later that decade.

    Many other scientists (not Al Bore, the former fraud VP) are all saying that this is a uh, uh, uh, uh hoax and nothing to be concerned about, but of course some of these folks were right in the 70"s as well so it is easier for you sheep to agree with God and his disciples of myth and celebrity.

    If this is such sure thing why will Al Bore not answer any questions from scientists, ya, again, it was easier to hand this fraud a Nobel poop prize that uh, uh actually make him answer some questions.

    You Czar loving fools just need to be lead around without asking questions just because the messiah says it, DOESN'T make it true, see 8 percent employment, ending the wars, no more wiretapping etc, etc, etc uh, uh, uh, uh etc.

    June 16, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. dk

    There you go again, phoenix86 . . . .proving once again just how stupid and uninformed you are!

    June 16, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. Richard-Arkansas

    If we think that Katrina had a cost so high that we couldn't afford it, wait until it happens to Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Charleston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and NYC, all at the same time.

    Hey guys, it is one ocean. If one part rises, it all rises and that doesn't include hurricanes and storms. And since the Gulf is attached loosely to the Atlantic Ocean, all of the red states will flood along with those liberal bastions. Think of a defense budget set at zero to pay for all of the damage. Palin won't be able to see Russia because Wasilla will be under water. Oh, maybe that's a plus!

    June 16, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. VL- Chicago

    Talk about POLITICS OF FEAR!
    Obama isn't more of the same, he's worse!! Please Obama worshippers, wake up! Our freedom is fleeting to the King!

    June 16, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    And another thing: that the Bush White House did everything it could to discourage and prevent NIS scientists from collecting and reporting appropriate data and conclusions regarding climate change is also well documented. It's a long-standing GOP position fueled by their favorite lobbyists.

    June 16, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. nadine

    This is just insane. Scientists (some not all) were forced into admitting Global Warming is taking place. Not saying that people aren't damaging to their enviornment... But on the other side of this, planets go through their own changes. People might want to look back on the last time (year) the Earth has changed and figure out a pattern. We are probably going through that pattern as we speak.. stating the planet itself it going through changes, and irregardless if people/plants animals existed on the planet, it would have done it all by itself. It was documented that at one time, the planet was too hot to even step foot on. At that time, people did not exist, so... who damaged the Earth then.... who is to blame for that one. Yes, people need to be responsible, but do not think we are all to blame.

    June 16, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. VL- Chicago

    GE owns NBC...NBC CEO works in Obama administration. GE will profit on supposed "green" solutions. GE will profit if US Govt. takes over health care. Connect the dots. Obama is a typical Chicago politician.
    Please, please wake up before this man destroys our country for decades. He makes W look like George Washington.

    June 16, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. joe smith

    as I recall, we are in a period of severe sunspots; these will last 5-7 years, giving us, our climate some very deverse extremes..or, because China, and India have so many people, the weight of the Earth spinning on it's axis has been compromised a1/70 th of a degree, thus the sun doesn't reach the Earth at the same place it always did, bingo..greenhouse,..see wasn't that simple..

    June 16, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Texas Teacher

    Warm or Cold.... anyone with even half a brain can see that the weather is getting more and more erratic every year! Something is happening somewhere.... and from the perspective of my people... the Earth Mother, a living enmity, is polluted by the vermin on Her back... just as any wise creature does with infestation of any kind of paracites do.... the Earth Mother will follow the pattern of Bear... Bear will roll in the dirts, then shake it off.... Bear will go into the water completely covering the area of infestation, then come out shaking off the water and drown vermin! So it is that we are seeing... sad, but true!

    June 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Proud Member..Party of No

    Aren't the ridiculous brain-dead democrats through beating this dead horse yet? First it was "global warming" and when that proved to be a myth they renamed it "climate change". And then democrats wonder why people laugh at them.

    June 16, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. Bill

    Everyone Sees the Danger of Climate Change.
    Everyone Talks about the Climate Change.
    Everyone Hears about the Climate Change effects.
    Everyone Feels about the Climate Change.
    But No One, Nobody, does anything to prevent Climate Change. It is all Talk, no Deed.
    The only way to prevent Climate Change is Socialism and a Harsh approach, which is:
    Rationing the use of Gas. Limiting the use of Gas by Quota. Go to work on Bicycle.

    June 16, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Ask yourselves this: what makes GOPers so scared of the scientifically measured, documented and proven phenomena of accelerating climate change, increasing frequency of drastic weather events and specific occurances like the melting of the polar ice caps?

    Answer is easy. They know precisely which powerful lobbies their chosen leaders must rely on in order to maintain a power base.

    2+2

    June 16, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    Nadine... I would surely rather err on the side of effort to reverse what damage we have done and live in a much more healthy green way than ignore the warnings.... the Bible says that man was given dominian over the earth and all that lived upon it.... that does not mean exploite it... it means take care of it! Human beings on the whole seem to have missed this firm part of their Bible teachings. I'm not a Christian... but it is the teachings of my people that we DO have dominian of the earth.... we don't own it.... we are here to share it with our fellow creatures in love and respect only taking what we need for survival (with thanksgiving) and leaving no foot print in our care and use of such.

    June 16, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Tim

    Yes, sitting here in Chicago in Mid June, when we have only had a handful of days over 70 degrees and none of 80 degrees, I fear the world is melting.

    As a matter of fact, the last several years have been much cooler than normal. Our winter of 2007/2008 was as bad as any winter in the past 30 years.

    Run for the hills, the glaciers are melting.

    June 16, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Tim

    Anyone who thinks we can predict a trend in the earths climate based on about 100 years out of the billions of years the earth has been in existence must be a democrat.

    June 16, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    @ nadine, who said "It was documented that at one time, the planet was too hot to even step foot on. At that time, people did not exist, so… who damaged the Earth then…. who is to blame for that one. "

    That we experienced an ice age 10,000 years ago is a pretty poor argument against scientifically measured, documented, recorded and observable changes over the past century. Stop believing what the GOP Priesthood is telling you...you'll be better off for it.

    June 16, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Keep in mind that the GOPers most vocal about cap and trade were already reprimanded by MIT for misrepresenting the MIT's study's findings ont he cap and trade program. The letter from MIT to Boehner is easily found on the internet.

    June 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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