Friday, June 20, 2008

Severe Weather Forecast for North America. Really?

The US government's top climate scientists have just released the first comprehensive analysis of projected weather and climate change effects on North America. As expected, the US Climate Change Science Program is predicting an increase in the number, severity and duration of extreme weather events including heat waves, floods, droughts and hurricanes. Welcome to the new reality, the one we're seeing in mid-west floods, southern droughts and California wildfires.

From ENN:

"Among the major findings reported in this assessment are that droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes are likely to become more commonplace as humans continue to increase the atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

The report is based on scientific evidence that a warming world will be accompanied by changes in the intensity, duration, frequency, and geographic extent of weather and climate extremes.

Global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases, according to the report. Many types of extreme weather and climate event changes have been observed during this time period and continued changes are projected for this century. Specific future projections include:

Abnormally hot days and nights, along with heat waves, are very likely to become more common. Cold nights are very likely to become less common.

Sea ice extent is expected to continue to decrease and may even disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summer in coming decades.

Precipitation, on average, is likely to be less frequent but more intense.

Droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe in some regions.

Hurricanes will likely have increased precipitation and wind.

The strongest cold-season storms in the Atlantic and Pacific are likely to produce stronger winds and higher extreme wave heights.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources."

The complete text of the reports, including proposals for adaptation and remediation, can be found here:

If Dion needs ammunition to bolster his Tax Shift/climate change initiative, there's plenty of it in these reports.


Anonymous said...


The Mound of Sound said...

I have no way of knowing whether you're being facetious, Anon, but it's going to take an awful lot more than slogans and chants if we're to save the planet and, even then, nothing good is going to be realized "now" or even for several decades.

It is, perhaps, ironic that the United States, which has grown so heavily dependent upon its ecological infrastructure, is also likely to bear the brunt of its indifference to global warming.

Eventually self-interest will prevail and the American people will be imbued with an awareness of the imperative of change. The only questions are when and just how bad conditions will have become by then.