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Climate Change Will Have Dire Effects On Northeast Fishing And Infrastructure, New Report Warns

In this 2016 file photo, Elijah Voge-Meyers carries cod caught in the nets of a trawler off the coast of New Hampshire. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
In this 2016 file photo, Elijah Voge-Meyers carries cod caught in the nets of a trawler off the coast of New Hampshire. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
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The National Climate Assessment released Friday offers a dire warning to the Northeast's fishing industry, as well as its urban communities.

The report shows the continued warming of coastal waters and increased ocean acidification will drive more animals north into colder waters.

"Ocean and coastal ecosystems are being affected by large changes in a variety of climate-related environmental conditions," the report says. "Because of the diversity of the Northeast’s coastal landscape, the impacts from storms and sea level rise will vary at different locations along the coast."

Climate change is also expected to make existing infrastructure problems in the Northeast even worse. Cities are especially at risk for heat-related deaths, as well as "large numbers of evacuated and displaced populations ... due to both extreme precipitation events and recurrent flooding," according to the report.

"Much of the infrastructure in the Northeast, including drainage and sewer systems, flood and storm protection assets, transportation systems, and power supply, is nearing the end of its planned life expectancy," the report says.

To combat climate change, Boston is already taking steps to prepare for effects on the environment with its plan to reduce greenhouse emissions, and many state leaders, like U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, are calling for greater steps to address the problem.

"[Climate change] is the most critical challenge that human civilization faces," Markey said in a tweet. "We need to take action now or ignore the risks posed by climate change at our peril."

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Jackson Cote Twitter Digital Producer
Jackson Cote is a freelance digital producer for WBUR and Here & Now.

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