Our hometown U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is tweeting about the just released Third National Climate Assessment in May 2014, done by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Blumenthal cites the “hundreds of the nation’s top climate scientists who worked for years to develop this report on climate-change impacts.” He gives a link (www.globalchange.gov) to the Assessment which spells out those changes we have all been learning to live with and now have officially confirmed: “Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. People are seeing changes in the length and severity of seasonal allergies, the plant varieties that thrive in their gardens, and the kinds of birds they see in any particular month in their neighborhoods.”
Other dramatic changes are noted: “Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Insurance rates are rising in some vulnerable locations, and insurance is no longer available in others….
“Scientists who study climate change confirm that these observations are consistent with significant changes in Earth’s climatic trends. Long-term, independent records from weather stations, satellites, ocean buoys, tide gauges, and many other data sources all confirm that our nation, like the rest of the world, is warming. Precipitation patterns are changing, sea level is rising, the oceans are becoming more acidic, and the frequency and intensity of some extreme weather events are increasing. Many lines of independent evidence demonstrate that the rapid warming of the past half-century is due primarily to human activities.”