POLITICS

White House: 2014's Global Warming Shows 'We Can't Wait'

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister David C
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the East Room of the White House January 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. The two leaders had an Oval Office meeting earlier discussing bilateral issues including economic growth, international trade, cyber security, Iran, ISIL, counterterrorism, Ebola, and Russias actions in Ukraine. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. reports showing 2014 was the warmest year on record are a reminder that climate change is happening now and that action to fight global warming must not be delayed, the White House said on Friday.

The new data is "another reminder that climate change is not a problem for the future - it's happening here and now and we can't wait to take action," a White House official said in a statement after NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration released reports that last year was the warmest since record keeping began in 1880.

President Barack Obama has been using executive authorities to fight climate change, setting new rules on carbon emissions from power plants and vehicles. "We will continue to move forward on this vital issue," the official said.

But Republicans, who gained control of the Senate in November's elections, have made slowing down the administration's issuance of new rules on climate-linked emissions one of their top priorities.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Roberta Rampton, Caren Bohan; Editing by SUsan Heavey)

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