A new government report warns that regions across the U.S. are feeling the effects of rapid climate change, with some of the greatest impacts in Alaska and the Arctic. And it states the evidence that human activity is driving climate change is stronger than ever.
The report says it is “extremely likely” that human activity is the “dominant cause” of recent warming — adding there is “no convincing alternative explanation.” That contradicts statements from Trump administration officials — and from the president himself.
The report is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is released every four years.
John Walsh is with the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
“It’s a distillation of the latest information about climate change as it affects the United States,” Walsh said.
Walsh contributed to the chapter on Alaska and the Arctic. He said the region has seen changes even in the short time since the last report, four years ago.
“The temperatures and the sea ice in Alaska have really moved into new territory in the last few years,” Walsh said.
Since 2014, Alaska has seen three of its warmest years ever and record low sea ice.
The report concludes it’s “virtually certain” that human activity has contributed to the loss of sea ice and glaciers, declining snow cover, and rapidly increasing temperatures across the Arctic. And it states that changes in the region could have impacts on the climate around the globe.
Walsh said, whatever fears scientists might have, he’s seen no political interference in the report to date.
“There was no attempt to steer the report one way or another,” he said. “Scientists were free to express what they thought.”
The Trump administration is supposed to review and formally approve the report later this month.
- “I don’t know if the gravity really is hitting everybody, but we’ve been arguing for recognition since statehood, and under this administration the attorney general has provided an opinion that, yes, tribes do exist, that we have inherent sovereignty,” said Richard Peterson, president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
For third time in 2 years, state officials cite Skagway Assemblyman for financial disclosure violationsHenry’s checkered candidate disclosure record was discovered when he pleaded guilty to federal tax crimes in early 2016. Henry hadn’t paid income tax for a number of years.
- Studies suggest most of the people coming to the area with the warplanes will likely offset a decrease in the Fairbanks-area population from cuts in funding for state agencies and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- BP isn't disputing that the incidents took place. The company has already taken extreme steps to address the issue.