Austin — A national committee of experts in agriculture, climate science, commerce, and disaster relief released its National Climate Assessment (NCA) today. The report is the nation’s foremost comprehensive, peer-reviewed analysis of the impacts of climate disruption, showing us the effects of climate change in Texas and across the country.
The NCA explains what many Texans already know far to well: “Rising temperatures are leading to increased demand for water and energy.” Communities across the state are scrambling to secure their water supplies for future growth; our agriculture production is yielding less, while prices are soaring; water customers are watching their bills creep up even as they use less water. According to the report, this will inevitably constrain development in many parts of the region, stress natural resources, and increase competition for water among communities, agriculture, energy production, and ecological needs.
The Texas coast is also heavily impacted by climate disruption, averaging about three tropical storms or hurricanes ever four years. According to the NCA, all of the Gulf Coast states “already face losses that annually average $14 billion from hurricane winds, land subsidence, and sea level rise.”
“This report clearly lays out the threats to our children’s health and the economic security of Texas families who are already dealing with the impacts of man-made climate disruption,” commented Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter Director Scheleen Walker. “The well-financed nay-saying by climate-change deniers must stop. Humans are the primary cause of climate disruption, and it is up to us to take responsibility for it. We must do so for the sake of our children and grandchildren.”
“The need to move away from dirty fossil fuels such as coal and fracked gas, the leading sources of climate-disrupting carbon pollution, could not be clearer or more urgent,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “It’s time that we as a nation end our dependence on fossil fuels and hasten the shift to readily available, cost-effective clean energy sources, like wind and solar. Today’s climate report shows the cost of inaction is far too great.”
More than 240 authors from across the country with diverse expertise helped create the National Climate Assessment. The findings are considered conservative estimates of the impacts of climate disruption. The full report including details of the cost to Texas’ families of climate disruptions can be found at http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report