Senate Republicans Need To Face Facts And Stop With The Stunts: Climate Change Is Negatively Impacting Their States Now.

March 26, 2019

Senate Republicans Need To Face Facts And Stop With The Stunts: Climate Change Is Negatively Impacting Their States Now.

Republicans are refusing to acknowledge that climate change is real, caused by humans, and that the congress needs to do something about it. Instead, this week Republicans will waste the American people’s time on a cynical stunt. Climate change is here and it is already directly impacting every state across the country. Below is a compilation of an excerpt from the 2018 National Climate Assessment for every state currently represented by at least one Republican Senator.

ALABAMA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Sea level rise is already causing an increase in high tide flood events in the Southeast region and is adding to the impact of more extreme coastal flooding events. In the future, this flooding is projected to become more serious, disruptive, and costly as its frequency, depth, and inland extent grow with time.”

ALASKA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “It is warming faster than any other state, and it faces a myriad of issues associated with a changing climate. The retreat of arctic sea ice affects many Alaskans in different ways, such as through changes in fish and wildlife habitat that are important for subsistence, tourism, and recreational activities.” ... “Lack of sea ice also contributes to increased storm surge and coastal flooding and erosion, leading to the loss of shorelines and causing some communities to relocate.”

ARIZONA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Damages from extreme weather events demonstrate existing infrastructure vul­nerabilities. Long-term, gradual risks such as sea level rise further exacerbate these vulnerabilities. Current levels of infrastructure investment in the United States are not enough to cover needed repairs and replacement. Infrastructure age and disrepair make failure or interrupted service from extreme weather even more likely. Heavy rainfall during Arizona’s 2014 monsoon season shut down freeways and city streets in Phoenix because key pumping stations failed.”

ARKANSAS

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “The fast growth rate of urban areas in the Southeast contributes to aeroallergens, which are known to cause and exacerbate respiratory diseases such as asthma. Urban areas have higher concentrations of CO2, which causes allergenic plants, such as ragweed, to grow faster and produce more pollen than in rural areas. Continued rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels are projected to further contribute to aeroallergens in cities.”

COLORADO

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Temperatures increased across almost all of the Southwest region from 1901 to 2016, with the greatest increases in southern California and western Colorado.”

FLORIDA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Florida alone is estimated to have a 1-in-20 chance of having more than $346 billion (in 2011 dollars) in property value (8.7%) below average sea level by 2100 under a higher scenario.” … “An assessment by the Florida Department of Health determined that 590,000 people in South Florida face ‘extreme’ or ‘high’ risk from sea level rise, with 125,000 people living in these areas identified as socially vulnerable and 55,000 classified as medically vulnerable.”

GEORGIA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Analyses at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide gauges show as much as 1 to 3 feet of local relative sea level rise in the past 100 years in low-lying areas of the Southeast. This recent rise in local relative sea level has caused normal high tides to reach critical levels that result in flooding in many coastal areas in the region.”

IDAHO

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Over the last few decades, an increase in climate-related extreme events has led to an increase in the number of emergency room visits and hospital admissions. Warmer and drier conditions during summer have contributed to longer fire seasons. Wildfire smoke can be severe, particularly in com­munities in the eastern Northwest. Smoke events during 2004–2009 were associated with a 7.2% increase in respiratory hospital admissions among adults over 65 in the western United States. In Boise, Idaho, 7 of the last 10 years have included smoke levels considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ (including children) for at least a week during the fire season, causing some cancellation of school-related sports activities.”

INDIANA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “St-Pierre et al. (2003) provide tables estimating economic losses in dairy, beef, swine, and poultry, resulting in declines from both meat/milk/egg production. The data show a strong gradient across the Midwest (with losses in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana being twice the losses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan under the current climate). Temperature and humidity increases projected for the Midwest will increase losses across the entire region.”

IOWA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “In the Upper Midwest, the duration of frozen ground conditions suitable for winter harvest has been shortened by 2 to 3 weeks in the past 70 years. The contraction of winter snow cover and frozen ground conditions has increased seasonal restrictions on forest operations in these areas,130 with resulting economic impacts to both forestry industry and woodland landowners through reduced timber values.”

KANSAS

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “More recently in 2016 and 2017, fires in Kansas and Oklahoma have exceeded 400,000 acres and were among the largest in the region’s history. These events killed thousands of cattle, contributed to several human fatalities, and damaged, displaced, or isolated rural communities. Model simulations indicate that wildfire risk will increase throughout the region as temperatures rise, particularly in the summer, and the duration of the fire season increases.”

KENTUCKY

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Cities across the Southeast are experiencing more and longer summer heat waves.” … “Sixty-one percent of major Southeast cities are exhibiting some aspects of worsening heat waves, which is a higher percentage than any other region of the country.”

LOUISIANA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “The Southeast’s coastal plain and inland low-lying regions support a rapidly growing population, a tourism economy, critical industries, and important cultural resources that are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The combined effects of changing extreme rainfall events and sea level rise are already increasing flood frequencies, which impacts property values and infrastructure viability, particularly in coastal cities. Without significant adaptation measures, these regions are projected to experience daily high tide flooding by the end of the century.”

MAINE

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “In 2012, sea surface temperatures on the Northeast Continental Shelf rose approximately 3.6°F (2°C) above the 1982–2011 average. This departure from normal was similar in magnitude to the changes projected for the end of the century under the higher scenario (RCP8.5) and represented the largest, most intense warm water event ever observed in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean (Ch. 9: Oceans). This heat wave altered seasonal cycles of phytoplankton and zooplankton, brought Mid-Atlantic fish species into the Gulf of Maine, and altered the occurrence of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine. Commercial fisheries were also affected. A fishery for squid developed quickly along the coast of Maine, but the New England lobster fishery was negatively affected. Specifically, early spring warming triggered an early start of the fishing season, creating a glut of lobster in the supply chain and leading to a severe price collapse.”

MISSISSIPPI

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Extreme rainfall events have increased in frequency and intensity in the Southeast, and there is high confidence they will continue to increase in the future. … Across the Southeast since 2014, there have been numerous examples of intense rainfall events—many approaching levels that would be expected to occur only once every 500 years—that have made state or national news due to the devastating impact they had on inland communities. Of these events, four major inland flood events have occurred in just three years (2014–2016) in the Southeast, causing billions of dollars in damages and loss of life.”

MISSOURI

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “River floods have caused the closure of interstate highways in the Midwest and temporary inundation of secondary roads. During floods in May 2017, more than 400 state roads in Missouri were closed due to flooding, including several stretches of Interstate 44.Climate projections suggest an increased risk of inland flooding under either the lower or higher scenario.”

MONTANA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “In the mountainous areas of the region, climate change is impacting snow-dependent ecosystems and economies. In Wyoming and Montana, for example, higher-than-normal winter and fall temperatures and low summer precipitation are enabling severe mountain pine beetle outbreaks in whitebark pine.”

NEBRASKA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Water is the lifeblood of the Northern Great Plains, and effective water management is critical to the region’s people, crops and livestock, ecosystems, and energy industry. Even small changes in annual precipitation can have large effects downstream; when coupled with the variability from extreme events, these changes make managing these resources a challenge. Future changes in precipitation patterns, warmer temperatures, and the potential for more extreme rainfall events are very likely to exacerbate these challenges.”

NORTH CAROLINA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Cities across the Southeast are experiencing more and longer summer heat waves. Nationally, there are only five large cities that have increasing trends exceeding the national average for all aspects of heat waves (timing, frequency, intensity, and duration), and three of these cities are in the Southeast region— Birmingham, New Orleans, and Raleigh. Sixty-one percent of major Southeast cities are exhibiting some aspects of worsening heat waves, which is a higher percentage than any other region of the country. The urban heat island effect (cities that are warmer than surrounding rural areas, especially at night) adds to the impact of heat waves in cities.”

NORTH DAKOTA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Agriculture is an integral component of the economy, the history, and the culture of the Northern Great Plains. Recently, agriculture has benefited from longer growing seasons and other recent climatic changes. Some additional production and conservation benefits are expected in the next two to three decades as land managers employ innovative adaptation strategies, but rising temperatures and changes in extreme weather events are very likely to have negative impacts on parts of the region.”

OHIO

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “The Midwest is a major producer of a wide range of food and animal feed for national consumption and international trade. Increases in warm-season absolute humidity and precipitation have eroded soils, created favorable conditions for pests and pathogens, and degraded the quality of stored grain. Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances.”

OKLAHOMA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Precipitation totals for a 120-day period during the spring of 2015 in south-central Oklahoma were above 40 inches, approximately the average annual amount in many locations, largely associated with multiple episodes of very heavy rain. Numerous state and U.S highways experienced regional detours or closures. A rockslide on Interstate Highway 35 closed portions of the road for sev­eral weeks. Flooding in Oklahoma and Texas caused an estimated $2.6 billion in damage in 2015, with $1 million in emergency relief funds provided by the U.S. Department of Trans­portation’s Federal Highway Administration to assist in the repair of damaged roads. The increasing frequency of extreme precipitation that is projected by climate models is antici­pated to contribute to further vulnerability of existing highway infrastructure, although the magnitude and timing of projected precipita­tion extremes remain uncertain.”

PENNSYLVANIA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “For example, in Pennsylvania, bridges are expected to be more prone to damage during extreme weather events, because the state leads the country in the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Pennsylvania’s water treatment and wastewater systems are also notably aging, requiring an estimated $28 billion in new investment over the next 20 years for repairs and to meet increasing demands.”

SOUTH CAROLINA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Many cities across the Southeast are planning for the impacts sea level rise is likely to have on their infrastructure …. Flood events in Charleston, South Carolina, have been increasing, and by 2045 the city is projected to face nearly 180 tidal floods (flooding in coastal areas at high tide) per year, as compared to 11 floods per year in 2014. These floods affect tourism, transportation, and the economy as a whole. The city has responded by making physical modifications, developing a more robust disaster response plan, and improving planning and monitoring prior to flood events.”

SOUTH DAKOTA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Climate-related impacts are already being felt in the region’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, as well as the local economies that depend upon them. Climate-driven changes in snowpack, spring snowmelt, and runoff have resulted in more rapid melting of winter snowpack and earlier peak runoff due to rapid springtime warming. These effects have resulted in lower streamflows, especially in late summer. Lower flows, combined with warmer air temperatures, have caused stream temperatures to rise.”

TENNESSEE

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “An extreme weather vulnerability assessment conducted by the Tennessee Department of Transportation found that the urban areas of Memphis and Nashville had the most at-risk transportation infrastructure in the state. Increasing precipitation and extreme weather events will likely impact roads, freight rail, and passenger rail, especially in Memphis, which will likely have cascading effects across the region.”

TEXAS

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Climate change is anticipated to lead to higher average temperatures year-round and an increase in the frequency of very hot days (days with maximum temperatures above 100°F), with the number of such days possibly doubling by mid-21st century.” … “An increase in temperatures is virtually certain for the Southern Great Plains. Longer, hotter summers will place strain on cooling systems and energy utilities, road surfaces, and water resources, particularly during drought.”

UTAH

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Ecosystems can naturally slow climate change by storing carbon, but recent wildfires have made California ecosystems and Southwest forests net carbon emitters (they are releasing more carbon to the atmosphere than they are storing). Wildfire has also exacerbated the spread of invasive plant species and damaged habitat. For example, repeated wildfire in sagebrush in Nevada and Utah has caused extensive invasions of cheatgrass, reducing habitat for the endangered sage-grouse.”

WEST VIRGINIA

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “The changing climate of the Northeast threatens the health and well-being of residents through environmental changes that lead to health-related impacts and costs, including additional deaths, emergency room visits and hospitalizations, higher risk of infectious diseases, lower quality of life, and increased costs associated with healthcare utilization. Health impacts of climate change vary across people and communities of the Northeast and depend on social, socioeconomic, demographic, and societal factors; community adaptation efforts; and underlying individual vulnerability.”

WISCONSIN

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “Tourism and outdoor recreation are major economic activities that may be affected by climate change, particularly in coastal towns that are at risk from algal bloom impacts and in areas that host winter sports that are especially vulnerable to warming winters. For example, ice fishing was limited due to mild temperatures in the winters of 2015–2016 and 2016–2017, and the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race in Wisconsin was cancelled due to a lack of snow in February 2017. Portions of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota contain ceded territory of many tribes, and these are used for hunting, fishing, and gathering native plants, all of which play vital roles in maintaining cultural heritage. Projected changes in climate and ecosystems will have strong impacts on these activities.”

WYOMING

According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, “In the mountainous areas of the region, climate change is impacting snow-dependent ecosystems and economies. In Wyoming and Montana, for example, higher-than-normal winter and fall temperatures and low summer precipitation are enabling severe mountain pine beetle outbreaks in whitebark pine. Whitebark pine is a keystone species of high-elevation ecosystems, providing a critical seed source for more than 20 wildlife species, creating microenvironments that allow other tree species to establish, and influencing snowpack dynamics.”

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