MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The White House released its 1600-page climate report on Black Friday, in what critics say was an attempt to minimize news coverage — but it’s the president’s criticism of his own administration’s report that continues to generate headlines.
“One of the things we learned from this report is that climate change is already affecting Minnesota and it’s going to affect us more in the future,” said Dr. John Abraham, professor at the University of St. Thomas.
“What climate change does, is it makes the extremes more extreme, so we go from really, really wet weather and flooding to really hot weather and drought,” Abraham said.
Kenny Blumenfeld, senior climatologist at the Minnesota State Climatology Office, added, “We are going to continue to see warming rates that exceed those of the rest of the country, and that is especially happening in the winter.”
The result is a longer growing season for some Minnesota farmers, but it also means an adjustment as invasive species move in. The report says some native plants, including wild rice, could become endangered and fish kills could become more frequent.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar says the report provides ample evidence that the U.S. needs to take action.
“I hope this report is a wake-up call,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar sharply criticized the president for withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“They need to start leading,” said Klobuchar. “One of the things we could do is we could get back in the international climate change agreement. We are the only county that looks like we’re not going to be in it, which is a problem.”
Another grim note from the White House report: It says deteriorating air quality could lead to thousands more premature deaths by 2050, including 500 in the Midwest.