A White House-backed scientific organisation called U.S. Global Change Research Program reported yesterday that global warming is “uniquivocal.” It also blamed people:
[The effect is] primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases.”
The rising temperature is radically altering each region of the the United States.
Here’s what’s going to happen to YOUR neighbourhood.
-For the last 800,000 years the amount of carbon dioxide in the air has been between 170-300 parts per million, according to analysis of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice core.
-We are now at 385 ppm, 30% above the highest point in 800,000 years.
Scientists say that the threshold for irreversible climate change is 450 ppm.
-This report assumes we go way past that, which many analysts including DOE chief Steven Chu expect we will. The low end of our projected range is 550 ppm, the high end is 800 ppm.
Average temperatures will tick up 3 degrees at minimum, 6 degrees at maximum.
It will rain more:
-Heavy downpours that are now 1-in-20-year occurrences are projected to occur about every 4 to 15 years.
-The 1-in-20-year heavy downpour is expected to be between 10 and 25 per cent heavier by the end of the century than it is now.
-Changes in these kinds of extreme weather and climate events are among the most serious challenges in coping with a changing climate.
-Increases in air and water temperatures will cause heat-related stresses for people, plants, and animals.
-Decreased water availability is very likely to affect the region's economy as well as its natural systems.
Sea-level rise and the likely increase in hurricane intensity and associated storm surge will be among the most serious consequences.
-Ecological thresholds will be crossed, causing major disruptions to ecosystems and to the benefits they provide to people.
-Quality of life will be affected by increasing heat stress, water scarcity, severe weather events, and reduced availability of insurance for at-risk properties.
Crazy heatwaves will take over Chicago, and the Great lakes will lose water--leading to a whole bunch of problems result.
The Alaskan coastline will change, and communities will be forced to move inland.
-Longer summers and higher temperatures are causing drier conditions, even in the absence of strong trends in precipitation.
-Insect outbreaks and wildfires are increasing with warming. Lakes are declining in area.
-Thawing permafrost is damaging roads, runways, water and sewer systems, and other infrastructure.
-Coastal storms increase risks to villages and fishing fleets.
-Displacement of marine species will affect key fisheries.
-Rising sea level is already eroding shorelines, drowning wetlands, and threatening houses.
-Coastal water temperatures have risen by about 2°F in several regions, and the geographic distributions of marine species have shifted.
-Precipitation increases on land have increased river runoff, polluting coastal waters with more nitrogen and phosphorous, sediments, and other contaminants.
-Increasing acidification resulting from the uptake of carbon dioxide by ocean waters threatens corals, shellfish, and other living things that form their shells and skeletons from calcium carbonate.
-All of these forces converge and interact at the coasts, making these areas particularly sensitive to the impacts of climate change.
-Winters in the Northeast are projected to be much shorter with fewer cold days and more precipitation.
-The length of the winter snow season would be cut in half across northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and reduced to a week or two in southern parts of the region.
-Cities that today experience few days above 100°F each summer would average 20 such days per summer, while certain cities, such as Hartford and Philadelphia, would average nearly 30 days over 100°F.
-Short-term (one to three-month) droughts are projected to occur as frequently as once each summer in the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, and across the New England states.
-Hot summer conditions would arrive three weeks earlier and last three weeks longer into the fall.
-Sea level in this region is projected to rise more than the global average
Droughts will be common, so there will need to be better planning for water preservation, and the possibilities of wildfires increases.
-Water supplies will become increasingly scarce, calling for trade-offs among competing uses, and potentially leading to conflict.
-Increasing temperature, drought, wildfire, and invasive species will accelerate transformation of the landscape.
-Increased frequency and altered timing of flooding will increase risks to people, ecosystems, and infrastructure.
-Unique tourism and recreation opportunities are likely to suffer.
-Cities and agriculture face increasing risks from a changing climate.
-Projected increases in temperature, evaporation, and drought frequency add to concerns about the region's declining water resources.
-Agriculture, ranching, and natural lands, already under pressure due to an increasingly limited water supply, are very likely to also be stressed by rising temperatures.
-Climate change is likely to affect native plant and animal species by altering key habitats such as the wetland ecosystems known as prairie potholes or playa lakes.
-Ongoing shifts in the region's population from rural areas to urban centres will interact with a changing climate, resulting in a variety of consequences.
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