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US residents say shocking predictions in UN climate report already happening

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A homeless man tries to stay cool near a misting station in Lents Park during an extreme heat wave in August 13, 2021 in Portland, USA. (Photo by AFP)

US communities’ current testimonials have concurred with the bleak predictions laid out in a new United Nations climate change report.

Reports on Tuesday cited residents from communities in Miami, Utah and Alaska saying that they are already witnessing the detrimental impact of rising sea levels, wildfires and higher temperatures reflected in last week’s alarming UN report.

South Florida residents say they are “already experiencing” the kind of climate impacts predicted in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

“Some of those things are the flooding that we’re seeing, episodes of extreme heat and prolonged, dangerous temperatures, especially for those in our community who are facing housing, economic or energy insecurity,” said Natalia Brown, climate justice program manager for the advocacy group Catalyst Miami.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  “report makes it glaringly clear that we really don’t have any time to waste when it comes to climate solutions,” said Carly Ferro, director of the Sierra Club’s Utah chapter, where residents have been fighting against sustained wildfires and drought in recent years.

In the village of Napakiak, Alaska, residents are forced to move buildings as riverbank erosion creates flood risks.

“Most structures ... that we have are located right near the Kuskokwim River and that’s where we’re having erosion problems,” said Napakiak official Walter Nelson, who coordinates efforts to lessen the flood risks. “Big buildings and the school, they have no choice but to demolish them.”

Jacob Tobeluk Jr., a resident of Nunapitchuk, Alaska, said relocating due to the intensity of flooding caused by global warming is a common concern in Alaska.

“One thing that we’ve been talking about is moving the entire village to higher ground because ... every time the water rises about a foot or two, the riverbank is overflowing with water,” he said.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the planet has surpassed more than 1 degree Celsius in average warming.

Climate impacts predicted in the UN report included more frequent heatwaves, droughts, and torrential rains.


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