Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Global Climate Change Impacts in U.S.

"This web page will introduce and lead you through the content of the most comprehensive and authoritative report of its kind that summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the U.S. (see here for Southeast) and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health."
Not to sound like the preview for the latest Michael Bay movie, but the report lists the following key issues in the Southeast:
Projected increases in air and water temperatures will cause heat-related stresses for people, plants, and animals.
Effects of increased heat include more heat-related illness; declines in forest growth and agricultural crop production due to the combined effects of heat stress and declining soil moisture; declines in cattle production; increased buckling of pavement and railways; and reduced oxygen levels in streams and lakes, leading to fish kills and declines in aquatic species diversity.
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 of climate change.
Ecological thresholds are likely to be crossed throughout the region, 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.