Washington, D.C. – A new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that greenhouse gases (GHG) contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. The proposed finding, which now moves to a public comment period, identified six GHGs that pose a potential threat.
The scientific review was ordered in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation. This pollution problem has a solution, one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”
The peer-reviewed scientific analysis looked at carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride, which has been the subject of intensive analysis by scientists worldwide. The paper shows that concentrations of these gases are at unprecedented levels as the result of human emissions, and are very likely the cause of the increase in average temperatures and other climate changes.
The analysis also confirmed that climate change affects human health in several ways, such as higher concentrations of ground-level ozone, a harmful pollutant. Additional effects of climate change include increased drought, more heavy downpours and flooding, more frequent and intense heat waves and wildfires, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, and harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems.