Everyday people are feeling effects of climate change, says scientist

Stanford University scientist Rob Jackson on Thursday said that everyday people across the U.S. have started to feel the impacts of climate change, citing natural disasters like wildfires as well as rising sea levels. 

"Real people, everyday people are seeing the effects of climate change right now," Jackson, the chairman of the Global Carbon Project, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on "Rising." 

"The damage from Sandy wasn't terrible just because it was a bad hurricane. It was terrible because water started higher than it would otherwise have been," he continued, referring to the hurricane that impacted New York and New Jersey in 2012. 

"Look at my summer here in California. We had air pollution like we have never seen before in the Bay Area, and in cities like Sacramento," he said. "That's attributable to fires. We had the worst fire, the largest fire on record this fall. We had the most catastrophic fire that just went out a few weeks ago."

"Climate change is playing a role. The western U.S., western Canada is seeing more fires, larger fires than we know of ever before. That's because our summers are hotter, and other factors are changing with our winds," Jackson said. 

A study released on Wednesday from the Global Carbon Project, which was co-authored by Jackson, found that carbon emissions in the atmosphere could increase by over 2 percent in 2018 alone. 

The findings follow bombshell reports from the U.S. government and the United Nations showing the long-term effects of climate change. 

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in October that warned some of the effects of climate change could be irreversible in 12 years, while the U.S. government released a report last month that found climate change would shrink the U.S. economy by the end of the century. 

— Julia Manchester