NEW INFORMATION: Critics say climate report is 'alarmist'

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Critics are assailing the National Climate Assessment out today as "alarmist."

Some fossil energy groups, conservative think tanks and Republican senators immediately attacked the 840-page report, which the White House is highlighting as it tries to jump-start efforts to curb heat-trapping gases.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said President Barack Obama was likely to, quote, "use the platform to renew his call for a national energy tax."

Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana said the report was supposed to be scientific -- but he says it's "more of a political one used to justify government overreach."

The report concludes that global warming is already causing violent storms and other weather hazards for the United States. And it says the effects will "become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond."

The report is the third edition of a congressional mandated study. More than 250 scientists and government officials started writing the report in 2012. A draft was released in January 2013, but this version has been reviewed by more scientists and has had public comment.

The National Academy of Science reviewed the report twice and called it "reasonable."
WASHINGTON D.C. (WEAU) --The Obama administration said climate change requires urgent action, in a strongly-worded report released Tuesday morning.

The updated scientific report says the impact of global warming will touch every corner of the country.

"Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present," the report says.

Some environmental and public health groups are calling the National Climate Assessment a “game changer” for efforts to address climate change. They believe it makes the impact of global warming less abstract to many Americans.

The more than 800 page report details how consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts, including health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture and especially in more frequent severe weather such as floods and droughts.

Those impacts are also broken down by region. Here in the Midwest it claims extreme heat, heavy downpours, and flooding will exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes.

In the Northeast the concern is wildfires, and in the Southwest, water shortages.

A draft report was released in January of last year so the National Academies of Sciences could do a review. It generated more than 4,000 public comments.

The advisory committee behind the report made two earlier assessments, one in 2000 and the other in 2009. A variety of departments and agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and NASA helped shape the report. Non-profits, businesses and more than 240 scientists also contributed.

The reports key findings note that the past decade was the country's warmest on record and that the amount of some extreme weather events has increased.

The document also connects severe weather and climate change to an increased risk of disease transmission, poor air quality and an increase in mental health problems.

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