Trump Administration climate report predicts significant loss of life in Texas

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Environment Texas

AUSTIN – The just-released 2018 update to the National Climate Assessment, “NCA4 Vol. II,” offers more proof that Texas will face increasingly dire consequences if action isn’t taken to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“We used to say that climate change would impact our kids and grandkids, but we are experiencing worsening, terrible impacts now,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas. “From some of the most destructive and tragic wildfires on record out in California to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey here in Texas, this report documents that such disasters will be the new normal if we don’t take immediate action to cut global warming pollution.”

In the Southern Great Plains, which includes Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, the report predicts:

  • Annual average temperatures will increase by 3.6°–5.1°F by the mid-21st century and by 4.4°–8.4°F by the late 21st century
  • An additional 30–60 days per year above 100°F than we currently experience
  • Higher temperatures could result in an additional 1,300 deaths per year by the end of the century
  • Extreme heat will pose health risks to outdoor agricultural workers, with some communities “projected to lose more than 6% in annual labor hours by the end of the century”
  • Sea level rise along the western Gulf of Mexico “is likely to be greater than the projected global average of 1–4 feet or more. Such a change, along with the related retreat of the Gulf coastline, will exacerbate risks and impacts from storm surges.”
  • Up to $20.9 billion in coastal property is projected to be flooded at high tide by 2030
  • The Edwards Aquifer will suffer from “a decrease of water supply during droughts, a degradation of habitat for species of concern, economic effects, and the interconnectivity of these impacts.”

“We have to act strategically, with urgency, to stifle climate change. It’s time to generate 100% of our energy from clean sources and adopt transportation modes that give off zero emissions,” concluded Metzger. “It’s up to all of us — from our elected officials, to the companies we buy from, to our families —  to study what the scientists say in the report, roll up our sleeves, and solve this existential challenge for our country.”