WASHINGTON (AP) — A new federal report is the most exhaustive and perhaps even easiest-to-read look at what global warming will to do the United States, say experts who strongly support it.
The report, required by federal law, is "the most comprehensive assessment ever done on how climate is affecting the United States," said University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles, a study author. White House counselor John Podesta called it authoritative and "a tremendous undertaking."
But conservative think tanks, Republican elected officials and industry officials called the report alarmist. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas said, "The Obama administration feels compelled to stretch the truth in order to drum up support for more costly and unnecessary regulations and subsidies."
"This is more a political document than it is a scientific document," said Charlie Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, using a phrase used repeatedly by critics Tuesday.
But scientists who study the issue say that's not correct. Two organizations of scientists in the field — the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union — praised the study, its conclusions and the scientific way it was conducted.
A team of 253 scientists, engineers, government officials, utility leaders, lawyers and other experts — nearly half of whom work at universities — spent about three years writing the report. It came out of 70 different workshops and then had about 60 outside reviewers. It is based mostly on peer-reviewed science and contains 3,096 footnotes with references to studies and reports.
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