Our changing climate is affecting nearly every facet of life in every corner of the country, according to the Fifth National Climate Assessment, released by the Biden administration on Tuesday.

The expansive report details how carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels, is warming the planet and causing more intense heat waves, wildfires and droughts.

“We have more evidence and more certainty that the changes that we’re seeing are because of human activities,” said Deepti Singh, an assistant professor at Washington State University’s School of the Environment and a contributing author of the report.

There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any time in the last 800,000 years, according to the report. That carbon acts like a blanket, trapping heat and intensifying extreme weather events.

“Many of the climate conditions and impacts people are experiencing today are unprecedented for thousands of years,” the report says.

Singh also pointed out that the Earth is seeing the “cascading and compounding” effect of multiple extreme weather events. In 2020, Oregon was rocked by unprecedented wildfires, followed by an ongoing drought, which was followed by the record-shattering heat dome of 2021.

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Seattle Times