Contrary to President Donald Trump's oft-recited, seemingly off-the-cuff opposition to scientists' rock-solid evidence of global warming, the White House released Friday what appears to be a damning, all-encompassing report that instead predicts increasing economic, environmental and agricultural damage in coming years.
The 13-agency consensus found in the second volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment makes it clear the world is barreling toward catastrophic ― perhaps irreversible ― climate change.
The United States already warmed on average 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century and will warm at least 3 more degrees by 2100 unless fossil fuel use is dramatically curtailed, scientists from more than a dozen federal agencies concluded in their latest in-depth assessment.
"This report underscores what we are already seeing firsthand: climate change is real, it's happening here, and it's happening now".
"With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century - more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many USA states", the report said. It also details how people's health and different parts of the economy are being hurt.
"All climate change is local", said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Richard Alley, who wasn't part of the report but praised it. "Communities of color and those on the front lines feel these impacts the hardest and we feel them first", Dr. Beverly Wright, the founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, said in a press release.
"With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century - more than the current gross domestic product of many US states", the report concluded.
Farmers, traders and manufacturers could especially suffer from the varying effects of climate change, the most recent report reveals.
Although the report suggests that no one is immune to the effects of climate change, children, low-income communities and older adults are groups that face higher risks of health issues due to factors such as increased temperatures.
The report was initially set to be released in December.
A report released in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the leading global body evaluating climate change - said it could only be stopped if the world made major, and costly, changes.
Earlier this week, the United States president appeared to deride the idea of climate change in a tweet about the weather.
Friday's report seemed to anticipate such comments, saying: "Over shorter timescales and smaller geographic regions, the influence of natural variability can be larger than the influence of human activity ..."
The studies clash with policy under President Donald Trump, who has been rolling back Obama-era environmental and climate protections to maximize production of domestic fossil fuels, including crude oil, already the highest in the world, above Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.
Citing numerous studies, the report says more than 90 percent of the current warming is caused by humans. "But the severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur".