May 6 - Hailed a ''game changer'' by environmental groups, the White House releases an updated report on how climate change requires urgent attention to counter impacts that touch every corner of the country. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Wildfires and drought have come fast and furious in recent years. And now, a detailed report suggests that climate change is largely to blame. Released by the White House on Tuesday, it speaks of the impact climate change has had on every corner of the United States. And the issue needs urgent attention. Some environmental groups are hailing it as a "game changer." An adviser to President Obama, John Podesta spoke on Monday: SOUNDBITE (English) JOHN PODESTA, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "This assessment is about presenting actionable science. We expect it will contain a huge amount of practical, useable knowledge that state and local decision-makers can take advantage of as they plan for the impacts of climate change and work to make their communities more resilient." More than 240 scientists were involved with the report. Environmental law expert Michael Gerrard weighed in on its findings: (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL B. GERRARD, PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE LAW AT COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL, SAYING: "The report confirms what scientists have been saying for some time about the fact that the climate has already been changing and that it's going to change a lot more and get worse in the coming decades." The past decade was the country's warmest on record. And extreme weather events have increased in recent years. Podesta said they hope that conveying warnings will help implement Obama's Climate Action Plan. It focuses on executive actions Obama can use to rein in polluters.