Following US president Donald Trump’s announcement that his country will pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, scientists and governments the world over have been wondering if agreed goals of reduced world temperatures are now attainable. This apprehension is particularly high in the Middle East, where summertime temperatures in countries like Iraq now surpass 50 degrees Celsius; and crazy heat domes in the Arabian Gulf region will mean no one can live there by 2100.
An August 7 New York Times article referred to a recent scientific report, warning that global temperatures have been rising steadily since the 1980’s; and that Americans are “feeling the effects of climate change right now” .The report, compiled by scientists from 13 federal agencies appears to be contrary to opinions stated by both President Trump and members of his cabinet, including the Environment Secretary, Scott Pruitt. Pruitt, formerly the Oklahoma Attorney General, is himself an advocate of fossil fuels as a major energy source. A draft of the report, says that “evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans”.
The report, which was endorsed by some of America’s top scientific entities, including the National Academy of Science, notes that even a small increase in global temperatures will make a big difference in global climate. A difference in global temperatures of between 1.5 and 2 degress Celcius can result in more intense heat waves, more violent storms; and further destruction of coral reefs (vital to preservation of ocean marine life).
While the report said that linking prolonged droughts in parts of the USA are still difficult to link to human influence, it did indicate that “more then half the global temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to human causes. This “human influence” may now be what is causing such phenomenoms as the above mentioned “crazy heat domes” in the Middle East.
Scientists who were involved in compiling data for the report are now afraid that the Trump Administration may either try to alter the findings of the report or keep them under wraps altogether. This is especially true when issues of national security seem to be now drawing most of the attention in the White House. If the report is not taken seriously by President Trump and his cabinet, it will only be a matter of time before issues of climate change will become those of national security as well.
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