New climate change report predicts disaster if nothing changes

, Posted: Tue, May 6 2014 at 6:33 PM, Updated: Tue, May 6 2014 at 7:59 PM

Medford, Ore. -- According to a new federal report, there will be more storms, more droughts, more disaster and more sickness on the horizon if people do not take action against climate change.

The Third National Climate Assessment Report out of the U.S. Global Change Research Program joins other scientific studies that claim people are having a huge effect on climate change.

Looking out over his 105-year-old family farm, David Mostue the farm manager at Dunbar Family Farms, said some crops have taken a hit after this winter's cold snap and now drought.

"An extreme event can totally trash a crop so it's a big deal," said Mostue.

If extreme weather becomes more frequent, Mostue said it would pose a problem for farmers who rely on a relatively stable weather pattern.

The National Climate Assessment Report points to more climate change if no one takes action to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide humans are creating.

"There is abundant evidence that this gas along with others is causing the atmosphere to behave like a thermal blanket and really heat the planet up," began Alan Journet with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now.

"Essentially what this report tells us is climate change is here and now," he said.     

Journet said he agrees with the report's findings that climate change fuels disease, jeopardizes water quality and dangerously raises ocean levels.

The study also shows we've had more extreme weather in recent decades. According to scientists, the trend will continue, even accelerate, if nothing changes.

"The report suggests if we together take a concerted effort to address the problem, we can reverse it. But we know we have to do this quickly," said Journet.

In addition, the report says more shifts in weather patterns means  agriculture will suffer as well, which isn't good news for farmers like Mostue.

"Farming completely thrives on stability ... Any kind of uncertainty is just more potential for failing," he said.

Climate chane is a controversial topic, with some people saying they don't believe it's happening or that they don't think humans are a contributing factor.

Skeptics argue changes in global weather are natural and not human caused.

The National Climate Assessment report however comes just a couple months after the United Nations released their study on climate change. The UN study echoed many of the same findings.

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