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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

National Climate Science Report Makes Strong Case for Immediate Action on Global Warming

Chairman Markey Announces Series of “Impacts Hearings”—First Hearing This Thursday on Agriculture and Forest Impacts

WASHINGTON (June 16, 2009) – A new report issued by America’s top climate scientists paints a stark picture of an America already beset by global warming, with more severe impacts to come if we do not cut the carbon pollution causing the problem.

In response to this sobering forecast and recognizing the need for quick action in Congress to move to a low-carbon, clean energy future, Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming announced he would hold a series of “impact hearings” on the effects spelled out in the report. The first hearing will be held this Thursday on the impacts of a warming world on America’s agriculture and forests.

“This report reinforces the science, renews our dedication to forging a national solution, and relegates the last bastions of climate denial to the dustbin of history,” said Chairman Markey. “We waited for eight years to take any action on global warming, even as the evidence mounted. Our economy, our environment, and our planet can wait no longer.”

The report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, written by the United States Global Change Research Program, is based on more than a dozen other national scientific synthesis reports, the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and others.

Key findings include:

  • Temperatures in the United States have already risen 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. That increase is directly linked to human activities.
  • Heavy downpours in the last 50 years have increased 67 percent in the Northeast and 31 percent in the Midwest. Unsurprisingly, this time has been marked by record flooding in those regions.
  • The growing season now starts 2 weeks earlier.

Projections of future impacts include:

  • Global temperatures could increase 11 degrees Fahrenheit, with greater overall increases in the United States.
  • Increased heat, pests, water extremes, weeds and other impacts would have significant impacts on the agriculture and livestock sectors.
  • Sea-level rise would be 3-4 feet by 2100, completely flooding places like the Everglades and Cape Canaveral.

Chairman Markey announced today that the Select Committee will hold a series of hearings based on this new report to further explore the immediate and future impacts of global warming. The first hearing will occur this Thursday on agricultural impacts, and will continue this summer and fall, starting with the following topics:

  • Impacts on our nation’s transportation system and other infrastructure
  • Extreme weather events
  • Sea-level rise

“The American people and my colleagues in Congress need to examine this report so we can all understand the urgency our nation faces from the threat of global warming,” said Chairman Markey. “This Thursday, we will begin that process by looking at how our nation’s farmers and ranchers could be harmed by a warming world.”

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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