Our first down the middle report today focuses on a new study by the U.S. government concerning the issue of climate change. A Federal climate assessment has been required by Congress since 1990. The latest one came out Friday. It reportedly involved 13 government agencies, the help of 1,000 people, 300 of them being scientists from inside and outside the government. And it included a number of warnings about what could happen as a result of climate change.
The report says cities could get hotter. Sea levels could rise higher covering land with water. Hurricanes could get more destructive. Wildfires would scorch more land. Thousands of more people could die every year because of higher temperatures and more widespread diseases. And all of this could cost the U.S. alone hundreds of billions of dollars per year.
A scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that increasing temperatures world wide quote "can only be explained by human activities." Many scientists blame fossil fuel emissions for contributing to warmer temperatures. That's a controversial part of the issue of climate change because not everyone agrees with it.
Last month before this report came out, U.S. President Donald Trump said he thinks something's changing in the climate but that it would change back again and he wasn't convinced that people caused the changes. And the Heartland Institute, a non-profit American think tank that supports skepticism about the human impact on climate change, suggests the new government report is similar to its previous reports except that this one is more exaggerated and less scientific. The government's climate assessment comes out every four years. It doesn't give specific recommendations on how to deal with the issue.