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Global warming is hitting home, report says

Seth Borenstein Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Global warming is already changing America from sea to rising sea and is affecting how Americans live, a massive new federally commissioned report says.

A special panel of scientists convened by the government issued Friday a 1,146-page draft report that details in dozens of ways how climate change is already disrupting the health, homes and other facets of daily American life. It warns that those disruptions will increase in the future.

“Climate change affects everything that you do,” said report co-author Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. “It affects where you live, where you work and where you play and the infrastructure that you need to do all these things. It’s more than just the polar bears.”

The blunt report takes a global environmental issue and explains what it means for different U.S. regions, for various sectors of the economy and for future generations.

The National Climate Assessment doesn’t say what should be done about global warming. White House science adviser John Holdren writes that it will help leaders, regulators, city planners and even farmers figure out what to do to cope with coming changes.

And climate change is more than hotter temperatures, the report said.

The report uses the word “threat” or variations of it 198 times and versions of the word “disrupt” another 120 times.

The report, written by a team of 240 scientists, is required every four years by law. The first report was written in 2000. No report was issued while George W. Bush was president. The next one came out in 2009. This report, paid for by the federal government, is still a draft and not officially a government report yet. Officials are seeking public comments for the next three months.

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