Scientific evidence is mounting that points to potentially dire conditions in the years ahead for much of North America, a worsening climate that will challenge agriculture and population centers and could impede growth and stability and cause serious problems with food production and safe drinking water.

So says a new university-generated, government-funded climate assessment study that involved the nation's leading physical scientists from universities and research centers across the nation.

Not only does the new study focus on the specific consequences of climate change for the U.S. in the years ahead but also provides a look at the effects of climate change for regions including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

 

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The new study has already garnered accolades from the scientific community but political critics offer varying positions, most accusing the White House of beating the drums of war in an effort to justify promised crack downs on environmental issues. The new assessment suggests a possible link between human activity and extreme weather experienced across the country, though the study left the issue up for additional study. But Republicans charge the findings will be used to muscle through costly emissions regulations wanted by the Administration.

 

Regardless of the cause of climate change, whether natural, cyclic, caused by human activity or a combination of reasons, the assessment clearly indicates an escalating problem that is exacting a price on society.

"Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present," the 840-page assessment report reads. "Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience." 

The report predicts that weather-related repercussions of climate change "are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond."