16 June 2009

U.S. Climate Change Report Out

Posted by Dan Satterfield

I frequently get asked about local effects of climate change, and my response before now has been that there isn’t a lot of good information on this. The main reason has been that global climate models do not have the resolution to make that prediction. There has been a lot of work underway in that regard and I saw some of it at a conference on climate in Chicago in April. New techniques have now made regional predictions much more possible.

Today, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released it’s long awaited report. This report deals with climate change on the level in which we all interact with our environment and ecosystem. LOCALLY.

The news is not good, and I will write more once I have had a chance to go through it. I am lucky to know some of the brilliant scientists who have had a hand in this research. It has taken years of hard work to come up with these projections. Below is a 20 page pdf summary with graphics that will likely surprise you.

Here in North Alabama for instance, we have about 45 days a year with a maximum temp. of 90 or above. This new research forecasts that number to nearly triple to near 120 by the last decade of  THIS century. The climate of Illinois will resemble the climate of West Tennessee and North Mississippi by the 2090’s. Yes it’s that bad.

It’s important to understand that these projections are based on society continuing to use fossil fuels at the present rate of increase, with no change toward cleaner energy for decades. The sooner we change to cleaner renewable fuels, the lower the impacts.

Read a summary here: