Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Wide Impact of Climate Change Already Seen in U.S., Study Says
The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more likely and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects.
Such sweeping changes have been caused by an average warming of less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit over most land areas of the country in the past century, the scientists found. If greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane continue to escalate at a rapid pace, they said, the warming could conceivably exceed 10 degrees by the end of this century.
“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the scientists declared in a major new report assessing the situation in the United States.
READ MORE in the New York Times.
If the U.S. and other big emitters enact polices that would cut emissions considerably, U.S. temperatures would rise about 3 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Under today’s “business-as-usual scenario,” U.S. average temperatures would rise by 5 degrees to 10 degrees, which means that summers in New Hampshire by the end of the summer would be as hot as those in North Carolina now. “Extreme heat is becoming more common, while extreme cold is becoming less common,” the report says.
The report sketches out sobering scenarios for different regions. The Northeast and Midwest, for instance, would see a huge increase in heavy downpours that could lead to flooding and erosion. The Southwest, including California, would be more prone to extreme heat, drought and wildfire.
READ Climate change assessment paints stark picture of potential damage in the Los Angeles Times
President Barack Obama will take the case for acting on climate change to Al Roker and other TV weather personalities, hoping they can help convince the public that the risks of floods and droughts is a reason to curb greenhouse gases.
It’s no easy sell.
Read MORE from Newsmax.