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Report: How Connecticut will feel the impacts of climate change

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HARTFORD -- From coast to coast, there have been record-breaking weather events over the last couple of weeks, from wildfires in California to history-making cold temperatures on Thanksgiving in the Northeast.

On Black Friday, a time when many Americans are on a long holiday weekend, distracted by plans with family and friends, the government released its latest climate change report, delivering a dire warning about the devastating impacts.

The federally-mandated report was supposed to come out in December. The report was written and researched by more than 1,000 people, including scientists both inside and outside of the government.

From the East Coast to California, people should expect to see longer and more destructive flooding and wildfire seasons, according to the report.

People from all over Connecticut weighed in with their opinions on the report’s findings.

“I’m frustrated that it seems the administration is attempting to lessen the impact of this report by releasing it on Black Friday,” said Ian Tierney of East Hampton.

The report details an ominous warning about climate change and the impacts it will have on quality of life.

“The evidence is very clear,” said Michael Bidwell of Norwich.

According to the report, “the impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country.”

It reads: “With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states.”

Here in the Northeast, by 2035, temperatures are expected to be more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer on average than during the preindustrial era.

“This would be the largest increase in the contiguous United States,” according to the report.

These lasting impacts will drive residents out of the region, according to the report, destroying industries from tourism to maple syrup production to fishing.

This past May we had that microburst come through and prior to that we’ve had multiple storms whether it was Sandy,” said Patrick Carlucci of Brookfield. “Climate change is a real thing.”

Mother nature is not happy with us,” he added.

“I don’t think it’s something we should be debating,” said Bidwell. “We should be debating on how to fix it.”

As far as preparedness goes, Hartford is listed as one of the major Northeast cities already exercising action to combat climate change, particularly when upgrading adding infrastructure.

The report also says that people should expect allergies and asthma to worsen, along with more mosquito- and tick-borne diseases. Those most at risk include children, the elderly and people living in low-income communities.

Click here to read the full report.

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