A federal committee has published a draft of the nation’s third climate assessment report, a comprehensive analysis of the latest and best peer-reviewed science on the extent and impacts of global warming on the United States.

None of the body’s findings are entirely new, but the report suggests that evidence is now stronger and clearer than ever that the climate is rapidly changing — primarily as a result of human activities, including the copious burning of fossil fuels. Observed weather extremes are on the rise, and the possible connection between at least some of these events and human-induced climate change is also more strongly supported by the science.

The nation can expect increased impacts on everything from crops to fresh water supplies, and better and broader national plans for adaptation are needed, the assessment noted.

The draft report, which was prepared by the so-called National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee and written and amassed by a group of 240 scientists, will be subject to a three-month period of review and public comment.

“Climate change presents a major challenge for society,” the committee’s leadership said in a letter addressed to the American people. “This report and the sustained assessment process that is being developed represent steps forward in advancing our understanding of that challenge and its far-reaching implications for our nation and the world.”

In an emailed statement, Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters, said the report confirms what many Americans already know. “Hurricane Sandy and the historic droughts, floods and heat waves happening across the country aren’t a fluke, but the result of a climate warming much faster than previously thought,” he said. “If we put off action on climate change, the costs of addressing its impacts will only rise and this extreme weather will be just the beginning. This report should serve as a wake-up call that it’s time to act.”

Source: The Huffington Post