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Serving: United States

Is it climate change or weather extremes?

TAGS: Farm Policy
BenGoode/Thinkstock Dry on one side, green on other side
Draft climate change report released, while questions swirl about Trump administration and climate change.

The Guardian is reporting it obtained emails showing that staff of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service are to avoid the term "climate change" in favor of "weather extremes."

The emails, sent after President Trump was sworn into office, reportedly list a series of terms that should be avoided and terms that should be used instead.

Politico reported in its Morning Agriculture newsletter that USDA has pushed back on the Guardian story.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has released a draft of the "U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report."

Federal law requires the assessment be completed every four years and there is some fear that it will not be released because there are climate change deniers within the Trump administration, including Trump himself.

The 673-page report provides an updated analysis on how climate change is impacting weather in the United States.

The draft report concludes "that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

Among the findings from the draft report:

  • Since the last National Climate Assessment was published in 2014, temperatures have set records for warmth. Sixteen of the last 17 years are the warmest years on record.
  • Average annual temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.8F for the period 1901-2016.
  • Since 1980, the cost of extreme events for the U.S. has exceeded $1.1 trillion.
  • Global climate change is projected to continue with the magnitude dependent upon the amount of greenhouse gases emitted globally.
  • Heavy precipitation events in most parts of the United States have increased in both intensity and frequency since 1901. The largest increases have occurred in the northeastern United States.
  • Extreme temperatures in the United States are projected to increase even more than average temperatures.
  • Global mean sea level has risen by about 7-8 inches since 1900, with about 3 of those inches occurring since 1993.
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