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Government climate report presents dire picture

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is more certain than ever that global warming is changing Americans’ daily lives and will worsen — conclusions that scientists will detail in a massive federal report to be released Tuesday.

Once people thought global warming was more in the future and more of an issue in other parts of the world, but the National Climate Assessment will emphasize how the United States is already paying the multibillion-dollar price for man-made climate change, said study co-author Donald Wuebbles, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois.

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This final report is a rewritten and shortened version of a draft that was released in January 2013, with more scientific references, reviews by specialists and the public, and a thorough review by the National Academy of Sciences, said Wuebbles and report lead author Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

There is even stronger evidence than in 2013, Yohe said.

The draft came out just as meteorologists calculated that 2012 was the hottest year on record for the United States. In the time since the draft report was released, the United States has experienced much extreme weather.

Nineteen state records were set for individual months, including the hottest January in California this year:

 Six records were for heat: Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and California.

 Nine records were set for the wettest month. Iowa (twice, setting records for April and May last year), Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

 Two states set records for lack of rain: New Mexico and Utah.

 Two states set records for coldest individual months: Maine and North Dakota.

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