Biden administration releases alarming reports on climate change challenges
The reports from 23 federal agencies examine how climate change will disrupt nearly all aspects of life, including more traffic and disease.
WASHINGTON — Nearly two dozen federal agencies released reports Thursday identifying the major threats climate change poses to their departments and how they plan to respond, underscoring the enormous policy challenges the U.S. faces as the planet continues to warm.
The reports, which President Joe Biden asked each agency to prepare in an executive order in January, detail how climate change will reach all corners of everyday life — from where we live to what we eat and how we get to work.
Twenty-three agencies released climate-adaptation plans, including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security, Education and Transportation. Each report offers candid descriptions of how climate change is already affecting the federal government's work and what threats the country faces as climate change worsens. The reports outline solutions, including investing in more resilient infrastructure, ensuring that new buildings and facilities are green and educating employees about climate change.
Changes in temperature, increases in floods and droughts, more pests and disease will all affect America's food supply, according to the Agriculture Department, while the Department of Housing and Urban Development warned that affordable housing "is increasingly at risk from both extreme weather events and sea-level rise."
Health and Human Services said that not only are more people exposed to deadly heat and floodwaters because of climate change, but also that exposure to certain infections increases as the life cycles of ticks and mosquitoes change. Severe weather disasters contribute to anxiety, depression and other mental health impacts, they added.
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