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U.S. coasts highly vulnerable to effects of climate change: report

English.news.cn   2013-01-29 07:20:42            

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- All U.S. coasts are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise, erosion storms and flooding, according to a new report released Monday.

The report, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities, says that the most affected are the more populated low-lying parts of the U.S. coast along the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, northern Alaska, Hawaii, and island territories. And the financial risks associated with both private and public hazard insurance are expected to increase dramatically.

The report, authored by leading scientists and experts, emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.

"An increase in the intensity of extreme weather events such as storms like Sandy and Katrina, coupled with sea-level rise and the effects of increased human development along the coasts, could affect the sustainability of many existing coastal communities and natural resources," said Virginia Burkett of the U.S. Geological Survey and co-lead author of the report.

The authors also emphasized that storm surge flooding and sea- level rise pose significant threats to public and private infrastructure that provides energy, sewage treatment, clean water and transportation of people and goods. These factors increase threats to public health, safety, and employment in the coastal zone.

In 2012, the United States suffered through 11 weather disasters that each caused 1 billion U.S. dollars in damage or more, including hurricanes Sandy and Isaac and deadly tornado outbreaks in the Great Plains, Texas and the Ohio Valley. Scientists warned that such conditions are just a taste of what is to come as a result of climate change and advocates urged swift action to limit the impacts.

Editor: An
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