Daily Video

May 7, 2014

New government report warns of imminent danger caused by climate change


Stronger storms in the Northeast, wildfires and drought in the Southwest and rising dangers from more powerful hurricanes in the Southeast — that’s how the government’s new climate report describes the changes to come.

“What keeps me up at night is a persistence across the population not to recognize that the old normal climate is broken, and we don’t know what the new normal climate is going to be,” said Gary Yohe, the lead author of the new National Climate Assessment.

“That lack of recognition and the inability of this community and decision-makers to communicate those risks to individuals unnecessarily puts economic assets at risk, unnecessarily puts human lives at risk, unnecessarily puts ecosystems at risk.”

The assessment also finds heavy rainfall has increased across the Eastern United States in the last half-century, and by 70 percent just in the Northeast.

The nation has an urgent obligation to act, urges Kathryn Sullivan, administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“We can, as we must, bring this assessment to life, really make sure it gets off the page, out of the ether, and into the policies, the plans and the practices that are adopted across our nation,” she said.

President Barack Obama met with weather men and women in the White House Tuesday to discuss the new report and its implications for weather events in the future.


Key places

Scientists have divided up the country into eight regions and explained how the consequences of climate change will affect each area.

Source: http://www.globalchange.gov/

Warm up questions
  1. Which region of the climate map do you belong to? Make sure to listen for its specific climate challenges in the story.
  2. What are some examples of extreme weather that you have experienced or noticed in the past year?
  3. Hypothesize how scientists measure climate change? How can they tell if it is from human activity or a natural occurrence?
Discussion questions
  1. What were the biggest concerns of the scientists interviewed?
  2. What are some of the impacts of climate change that people in the United States are feeling now? Have you noticed any of those challenges in your own hometown?
  3. What reasons did the scientists cite as causes of climate change? How did they suggest we solve them?
Writing prompts

Using examples from the video, present a clear and persuasive argument that climate change is real, providing examples of how climate change will affect the lives of people in your community and throughout the United States.

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