Welcome to Hell: Climate Change in the United States

A draft version of the Fourth National Climate Assessment has been leaked to the New York Times. Why? Because scientists were naturally afraid that the Trump administration might just decide to bury it. After all, here’s what it says:

Many lines of evidence demonstrate that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century….The likely range of the human contribution to the global mean temnperature increase over the period 1951-2010 is…0.6ºC to 0.8°C….Significant advances have been made in the attribution of the human influence for individual climate and weather extreme events since NCA3.

And now, because I’m a chart lover, here are a few selected charts from the NCA4 report. First up is projected storm activity if we keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Check out the West Coast in 60 or 70 years:

That’s a lot more big storms for Baja California. The rest of the world will be getting a helluva lot stormier too. However, there’s also plain old rain, and outside of the West we’re going to get a lot more of it:

Sea level is also rising. Add that to the increased rain and the increased number of storms, and you get a lot more floods. Note that the increase in flooding is going to happen pretty soon: as early as 2020 in some places and 2030 or 2040 in others.

Out here in California, we’re mostly worried about the opposite of floods. We’ll be getting a lot more wildfires and a lot more drought thanks to the steady decline of the Sierra snow pack:

This doesn’t have to happen, of course. We could, if we wished, do something about it. Unfortunately, our current president doesn’t even believe this stuff, let alone have any desire to stop it from happening. Feeling better yet?

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate