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EPA Readies Climate Adaptation Plan as Earth Warms

The U.S. government is ramping up efforts to combat global warming with the Environmental Protection Agency preparing its proposal on how it will react to a changing climate.

In a notice, the regulatory agency said it will issue a plan tomorrow to respond to increased rainfall, rising seas and other weather events likely to proliferate and intensify on a warming planet.

“Adaptation will involve anticipating and planning for changes in climate and incorporating considerations of climate change into many of the agency’s programs, policies, rules and operations,” the EPA said today in a notice published in the day-ahead notification system of the Federal Register.

In a draft of the report dated last June, the agency identified a number of ways in which heat and related weather could affect health and the environment. For example, smog levels in many cities would increase because of higher temperatures, and so the EPA said it will work to curb ozone levels. More wildfires will mean more particulate pollution, and warmer waters could threaten aquatic habitats.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program concluded in a report last month that carbon-dioxide emissions since the Industrial Revolution have led to a warming of the Earth’s temperature, which threatens to cause extreme weather, drought and floods.

Already, average U.S. temperatures are up 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, with most of the increase occurring in the past three decades, according to the research program. Last year was the warmest on record for the 48 contiguous U.S. states and the second-worst for weather extremes including arid conditions, hurricanes and wildfires, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which used records since 1895.

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