The National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, issued a call for the United States to act on greenhouse-gas emissions. Climate change is real, the report said, and its effects are already being felt. The sea level is rising in many American towns, and the average U.S. air temperature has increased by two degrees in the last 50 years. The report, "America's Climate Choices," was ordered by Congress several years ago to come up with "action-oriented advice" on how the nation should deal with climate change. The report didn't offer specific policies, but it did say that a price ought to be attached to carbon emissions. "We don't know exactly when the tsunami will hit or how high it will be, but we know it is coming, and we should prepare," said Albert Carnesale, the chairman of the panel. But climate-change legislation has foundered in Congress, and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who has been leading the charge against further regulation of carbon emissions, immediately dismissed the council's findings.