The economy and quality of life for individuals around the world are continuing to be disrupted by extreme weather. Heat waves, drought, severe precipitation and other damaging weather events are appearing more often and are increasing in intensity. It’s no secret that human consumption of fossil fuels is the main culprit.

“We can’t think of this as an issue for future generations,” said Radley Horton, one of the lead authors and climate scientists of the Third National Climate Assessment released Tuesday morning by the Obama administration.

The purpose of the science-based report, which is mandated by Congress and published every four years, is to inform public policy and private sector decisions.

As stated by the Los Angeles Times in an article covering the report, a March Gallup poll shows that most Americans believe climate change is happening or will happen in their lifetimes, but only one in three sees it as a “serious threat” to their way of life.

“If the U.S. and other big emitters enact polices that would cut emissions considerably, U.S. temperatures would rise about 3 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Under today’s “business-as-usual scenario,” U.S. average temperatures would rise by 5 degrees to 10 degrees, which means that summers in New Hampshire by the end of the summer would be as hot as those in North Carolina now,” said the Los Angeles Times article.

The climate assessment aims to highlight the severity of these threats by focusing on local impacts, revealing scenarios for different regions of the U.S. For more information and to view the Los Angeles Times article, click here.