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White House Releases Climate Change Report for Tennessee, Southeast

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The Obama administration has released the third U.S. National Climate Assessment report on climate change. The report states Tennessee is "exceptionally vulnerable" to heat events, forest disturbances, transportation issues and water availability due to changes in climate.

The reports says hotter temperatures and heat stress could "shift dairy production northward," noting a 10 percent decline in livestock yield is projected along with a 9-degree increase in temperatures across the southeast.

Water supply could also be stressed as the population grows, land use rises and projected precipitation uncertainty reduces availability. At the other end of the spectrum, severe weather and flooding the past three years has damaged roads, bridges and rail systems. 

Forest issues are also cited in the report, identifying disturbances caused by insects and pathogens which are altered by changes in climate. Tree stress and altered insect lifecycles along with tree growth, mortality and economic loss are among those areas which could be impacted. 

The report also praises Tennessee for efforts to combat climate change which include community preparedness, cutting of carbon pollution, investment in clean energy and improvements in energy efficiency.  

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