January 12, 2013

escaping to higher ground

From The Guardian
Future generations of Americans can expect to spend 25 days a year sweltering in temperatures above 100°F (38C), with climate change on course to turn the country into a hotter, drier, and more disaster-prone place.
The article cites a report done by the National Climate Assessment, (NCA) which is considered to be "the most ambitious scientific exercise ever undertaken to catalog the real-time effects of climate change, and predict possible outcomes in the future." And, as you can probably imagine, it cites some pretty alarming statistics: 
  • 2012 was "by far" the warmest year on record, an "off the charts increase" from previous records.
  • Average US temperatures have increased about %1.5° F since 1895. More than 80% of that increase has occurred since 1980.
  • There are little, if any, geographical distinctions. "No place in America ha(s) gone untouched by climate change. Nowhere would be entirely immune from the effects of future climate change."
  • And finally, quoting directly from the NCA study: "Beyond the next few decades, the amount of climate change will still largely be determined by the choices society makes about emissions. Lower emissions mean less future warming and less severe impacts. Higher emissions would mean more warming and more severe impacts."   
Though the article is not especially focused on any particular political dimension, it does mention that the NCA was created with the intent "to guide federal, state and city governments in America in making long-term plans," while adding, the course taken so far by President Obama regarding CFCs has, quoting from the report, "not been close to sufficient."

And Hear! Hear! The news coming from NY TImes is especially disconcerting. 

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