For many of us who follow climate change news we've known this for a while and while the majority of climate scientists also believe this, the rest of the world is slow to follow. The US has not acted adequately to address climate change, not in the least.
Now the third National Climate Assessment outlines how dire the situation is and we have even more evidence that Climate change is real and man made.
In an emailed statement, Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters, said the report confirms what many Americans already know. "Hurricane Sandy and the historic droughts, floods and heat waves happening across the country aren't a fluke, but the result of a climate warming much faster than previously thought," he said. "If we put off action on climate change, the costs of addressing its impacts will only rise and this extreme weather will be just the beginning. This report should serve as a wake-up call that it's time to act."It is time to act.
The committee's letter continues:Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours, though in many regions there are longer dry spells in between.
Other changes are even more dramatic. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the year, last later into the fall, threaten more homes, cause more evacuations, and burn more acreage. In Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded, and fall storms now cause more erosion and damage that is severe enough that some communities are already facing relocation. ...
These and other observed climatic changes are having wide-ranging impacts in every region of our country and most sectors of our economy. Some of these changes can be beneficial, such as longer growing seasons in many regions and a longer shipping season on the Great Lakes. But many more have already proven to be detrimental, largely because society and its infrastructure were designed for the climate of the past, not for the rapidly changing climate of the present or the future.
And we cannot act alone, there is only so much we can do change our habits and our lifestyles, these changes need to be made on a larger scale and the only entity that is able to do this is our Government.
This doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can in our every day lives, but action needs to happen and what we can do is be as loud as possible in demanding it.
Of the many issues we face, this is one that we face as a species. It's not a National Issue, it's not just International it's planetary.
It's time we stopped putting profit before planet because soon not doing so will be so costly it is going to constitute not just some challenges, but expensive consequences that will affect everything from our food supplies to major natural disasters.
Speak please, speak out, speak up and make your voice be heard.
Want to learn about what you can do, try here:http://www.350.org
The full climate assessment can be downloaded here.
And the results of a warming planet? If you aren’t alarmed about climate, you aren’t paying attention
We know we’ve raised global average temperatures around 0.8 degrees C so far. We know that 2 degrees C is where most scientists predict catastrophic and irreversible impacts. And we know that we are currently on a trajectory that will push temperatures up 4 degrees or more by the end of the century.
What would 4 degrees look like? A recent World Bank review of the science reminds us. First, it’ll get hot:Projections for a 4°C world show a dramatic increase in the intensity and frequency of high-temperature extremes. Recent extreme heat waves such as in Russia in 2010 are likely to become the new normal summer in a 4°C world. Tropical South America, central Africa, and all tropical islands in the Pacific are likely to regularly experience heat waves of unprecedented magnitude and duration. In this new high-temperature climate regime, the coolest months are likely to be substantially warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. In regions such as the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Tibetan plateau, almost all summer months are likely to be warmer than the most extreme heat waves presently experienced. For example, the warmest July in the Mediterranean region could be 9°C warmer than today’s warmest July.
Extreme heat waves in recent years have had severe impacts, causing heat-related deaths, forest fires, and harvest losses. The impacts of the extreme heat waves projected for a 4°C world have not been evaluated, but they could be expected to vastly exceed the consequences experienced to date and potentially exceed the adaptive capacities of many societies and natural systems. [my emphasis]