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2 December 2006 at 9:04 am #4297Quote:…
B. N. Goswami of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and his colleagues studied rain gauge data from 1,803 stations scattered throughout central India from 1951 to 2000.
“Heavy and very heavy rain events over central India have increased significantly since the 1950s,” Goswami notes. “Also, the magnitude of the very heavy events in a given year has shown a clear increasing trend.”
“As the weak and moderate events decrease, their contribution to the mean decreased while the increasing number of heavy and very heavy events make an increasing contribution to the mean,” Goswami explains. “These two opposing contributions roughly balance each other and keep the mean unchanged.”
But even though the average has not changed, the potential for extreme downpours–and hence flooding and other ills–has, jumping 10 percent and still rising. This is an important and increasing risk going forward, according to the researchers. The number of strong tropical cyclones continues to increase as well, linked perhaps to the gradual increase in Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures. “The results are consistent with what may be expected under global warming,” Goswami adds.
…24 December 2006 at 11:27 am #4298Quote:Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India’s part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.
As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities.31 December 2006 at 1:54 am #4299Quote:TORONTO, Ontario (AP) — A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada’s Arctic, scientists said. The mass of ice broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the North Pole, but no one was present to see it in Canada’s remote north. Scientists using satellite images later noticed that it became a newly formed ice island in just an hour and left a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake. Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, traveled to the newly formed ice island and could not believe what he saw. "This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead," Vincent said Thursday. …
"What surprised us was how quickly it happened," Copland [head of the new global ice lab at the University of Ottawa] said. "It’s pretty alarming. "Even 10 years ago scientists assumed that when global warming changes occur that it would happen gradually so that perhaps we expected these ice shelves just to melt away quite slowly, but the big surprise is that for one they are going, but secondly that when they do go, they just go suddenly, it’s all at once, in a span of an hour."
Ancient ice shelf breaks free from Canadian Arctic3 February 2007 at 5:51 pm #4300
As you’ve likely seen in the news, the IPCC’s fourth report is due out soon.
There’s a summary available online: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis – Summary for Policymakers
You can obtain at:
Reuters has an item with some of the main details:
FACTBOX-U.N. climate panel report
– makes for grim reading
see also the Independent:
Global warming: the final warning
According to yesterday’s UN report, the world will be a much hotter place by 2100. This will be the impact …
Starts with scenario of 2.4C rise in temp, for which impacts forecast include:Quote:Coral reefs almost extinct
In North America, a new dust-bowl brings deserts to life in the high plains states, centred on Nebraska, but also wipes out agriculture and
cattle ranching as sand dunes appear across five US states, from Texas in the south to Montana in the north.
Rising sea levels accelerate as the Greenland ice sheet tips into irreversible melt, submerging atoll nations and low-lying deltas.
and continues from there; by maximum potential rise of 6.4C:Quote:Most of life is exterminated17 February 2007 at 10:06 am #4301
From NOAA:Quote:The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest for any January on record, according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The most unusually warm conditions were in the mid- and high-latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11 degrees F (0.06 degrees C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32 degrees F (0.18 degrees C) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
I’m in shorts and t-shirt as I write this – yet here in Hong Kong, February tends to be cool, even downright chilly. This winter, haven’t (so far) even needed heater; barely a need for warm clothes.31 May 2007 at 9:34 am #4302Quote:A NEW picture of Mount Everest have revealed what appears to be the devastating effects of climate change on one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive and important regions.
The image, taken last month, portrays a dramatically different landscape to shots taken in the 1960s.
In a picture taken in 1968, the Middle Rongbuk glacier skirts through the mountain valley with the peaks above thickly covered with snow.
But almost exactly the same shot taken this year by a Greenpeace team reveals much barer peaks and a scarcely visible glacier.
And the environmental pressure group is in no doubt that the radical changes to the area are due to the effects of climate change.
“The degradation of the Everest environment and glacial retreat is, Greenpeace believes, a direct result of climate change,” a spokeswoman said.
The Greenpeace team found that the glaciers of the Yellow River source have shrunk by 17 per cent in the past 30 years and warns that this trend could leave the region without glaciers by the end of the century.5 June 2007 at 12:00 pm #4303
Closely related to the above, a new report from UNEP.Quote:The rapid shrinking of Himalayan glaciers, accelerating at alarming rates in past decades as a result of global warming, will have catastrophic consequences for communities living downstream and millions who rely on glacial melt water, a new report says. The report, the first comprehensive study on the impact of warming temperatures on glaciers and glacial lakes in the Himalayan region warns of impending glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) – when rising waters from glacial melt breach dams in glacial lakes – and calls for early warning and mitigation measures to avert disaster.
Nearly 15000 glaciers and 9000 glacial lakes are found in the Himalayan mountain chain which stretches 2500 km across five countries – Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, India and China. The mountain range feeds nine perennial river systems in the region and constitutes a lifeline for nearly 1.3 billion people downstream.
Himalayan glaciers are shrinking at an average of 10 to 60 m annually, with some retreating by 74 m a year. In China, glaciers have been retreating at a rate of 5.5 per cent in the last three decades. With current climate change projections two-thirds of China’s glaciers are likely to disappear by 2050, and almost all would be gone by 2100.
Significant changes were also seen in the Indian Himalaya, with the highest rate of glacial retreat found in the Bada Shigri Glacier and lowest in the Chhota Shigri Glacier in the Chenab River Basin, where glaciers are retreating by 6.8 to 29.8 m each year.
In Bhutan, the Luggye Glacier retreated by 160 m yearly from 1988 to 1993 resulting in rapid growth of the Luggye Tso Lake. The Raphstreng Glacier retreated 35 m every year on average from 1984 to 1998 but from 1988 to 1993 the retreat rate almost doubled to 60 m per year.
Glacier retreat has been accelerating in Nepal since the 1990s, with dramatic retreats recorded between 1994 and 1998 especially in the Dudh Koshi sub-basin where all of the glaciers studied have retreat by 10 to 59 m yearly. The Dudh Koshi sub-basin is the largest basin and most densely glaciated region in Nepal.
Melting glaciers are also leading to some of the fastest-growing glacial lakes in the region. Some glacial lakes have grown by almost 800 per cent since the 1970s.6 June 2007 at 11:06 pm #4304
From a Reuters interview:Quote:SWISS CAMP, Greenland Ice Cap, June 6 (Reuters) – Dr. Konrad Steffen is the director of University of Colorado at Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and a veteran researcher of Arctic climate. He discussed the accelerating melting of Greenland’s ice cap and its effects on global ocean levels in an interview with Reuters on May 18 at his field research camp.
Q: Did the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report underestimate the forecast for the rise in ocean levels?
A: I think it definitely underestimated. We complained heavily before it was released
Right now we have warming all the way down to the mid-latitudes.
We have never had such a high carbon dioxide level in the past 500,000 years.
Q: How do you view the media coverage of climate change?
A: One disappointment I would raise is if you look at the understanding of climate change by scientists — let’s be generous — 95 percent of scientists say we understand the process and we are convinced there is global warming. The media reports it, like a lot of other stories, as 50-50. …1 August 2007 at 3:11 pm #4305
From Reuters report:Quote:China blamed global warming on Wednesday for this year’s weather extremes, which have led to more than 700 deaths from flooding and left more than seven million with little access to water.
Such extremes are likely to get worse and more common in the future, said Song Lianchun, head of the China Meteorological Administration’s Department of Forecasting Services and Disaster Mitigation.
“It should be said that one of the reasons for the weather extremes this year has been unusual atmospheric circulation bought about by global warming,” Song told a news conference carried live on the central government Web site (www.gov.cn).
“These kind of extremes will become more frequent, and more obvious. This has already been borne out by the facts,” he said. “I think the impact on our country will definitely be very large.”
Some parts of China have had too much rain, and others too little this summer.
Here in Hong Kong, we’re in a heatwave – most sustained hot, sunny summer weather I’ve known in 20 years here. Seen forecast suggesting this is set to change – maybe next week will see typhoons hit Hainan and Taiwan, shortly after one bashing Japan.29 August 2007 at 7:09 am #4306
From Reuters:Quote:Greenhouse gas emissions — not El Nino or other natural phenomena — pushed U.S. temperatures for 2006 close to a record high, government climate scientists reported on Tuesday.
The annual average U.S. temperature in 2006 was 2.1 degrees F (1.16C) above the 20th century average and the ninth consecutive year of above-normal U.S. temperatures, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wrote.
“What we found was a very strong footprint of the observed warming, consistent with the greenhouse gas effect,” [Martin Hoerling of the U.S. climate administration] said in a telephone interview.
For most states, 2006 ranked among the 10 hottest years since 1895. Globally, 2005 was the warmest, edging out 1998, with 2006 ranked about sixth for the world, Hoerling said.7 September 2007 at 1:52 am #4307Quote:Wildfires are flaring bigger and hotter in Alaska, the northern Rockies and the Sierra Nevada. Bighorn sheep, mountain goats and grizzly bears in Glacier National Park, along with deer and marsh rabbits in the Florida Keys, face a housing crisis.
Glacier’s alpine meadows are disappearing, sea levels are rising in the Keys and other federal lands are feeling the heat from global warming — and the government is not doing much about it, congressional investigators said in a report Thursday.
Climate change, however, does have things looking up for heat-loving pests like beetles, grasshoppers and fungi.
After more than three years of study, the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, harshly faulted the Bush administration for doing little to deal with the far-reaching effects of climate change rapidly taking place in national parks, forests, marine sanctuaries and other federal lands and waters — almost 30 percent of the United States.
GAO Faults Agencies Over Global Warming
Summary – and link to download pdf of the report – at:
Climate Change: Agencies Should Develop Guidance for Addressing the Effects on Federal Land and Water Resources17 September 2007 at 4:20 am #4308
From CNN:Quote:Ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, long held to be an early warning of a changing climate, has shattered the all-time low record this summer, scientists say. Additionally, the European Space Agency said nearly 200 satellite photos this month taken together showed an ice-free passage along northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland, according to news reports. … Mark Serreze, senior research scientist at NSIDC, termed the decline "astounding." "It’s almost an exclamation point on the pronounced ice loss we’ve seen in the past 30 years," he said. Most researchers had anticipated the complete disappearance of the Arctic ice pack during summer months would happen after the year 2070, he said, but now, "losing summer sea ice cover by 2030 is not unreasonable."
Ice loss ‘opens Northwest Passage’5 October 2007 at 4:49 am #4309
From the Guardian:Quote:A record number of floods, droughts and storms around the world this year amount to a climate change “mega disaster”, the United Nation’s emergency relief coordinator, Sir John Holmes, has warned.
Sir John, a British diplomat who is also known as the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said dire predictions about the impact of global warming on humanity were already coming true.
“We are seeing the effects of climate change. Any year can be a freak but the pattern looks pretty clear to be honest. That’s why we’re trying … to say, of course you’ve got to deal with mitigation of emissions, but this is here and now, this is with us already,” he said.
As a measure of the worsening situation, Ocha, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – part of the UN secretariat that employs Sir John – has issued 13 emergency “flash” appeals so far this year. The number is three more than in 2005, which held the previous record.
Two years ago only half the international disasters dealt with by Ocha had anything to do with the climate; this year all but one of the 13 emergency appeals is climate-related. “11 October 2007 at 2:09 am #4310Quote:Man-made global warming is driving up humidity levels, with the risk that rainfall patterns will shift or strengthen, tropical storms intensify and human health may suffer from heat stress, a study released on Wednesday said.
From 1976 to 2004, when the world’s average surface temperature rose 0.49 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), global levels of atmospheric water vapour rose 2.2 percent, according to the paper by British scientists.
Gillett said water vapour was a “positive feedback” — a vicious circle, in scientific parlance — in the global warming equation.
Steam is a greenhouse gas, meaning that like carbon pollution that results from burning fossil fuels, it traps solar heat in the atmosphere, thus stoking the warming effect and so worsening humidity.24 October 2007 at 2:25 pm #4311
Interesting interview transcript on Alternet; includes Bill McKibben of http://www.stepitup2007.org saying:Quote:[re the wildfires now raging across parts of California:] This is the kind of disaster that we see more and more of as we begin to change the basic physics and chemistry of the planet we live on. One of the people leading the really brave rescue effort out there yesterday said, one of the San Diego authorities said, this is the driest it’s been in at least ninety years. It’s dry because they’ve had terrific heat and not much rain. And those are just the conditions for that part of the world that all the modeling suggests come about when you begin to raise the temperature.
to call it “global warming” is correct, but almost a misnomer. What we’re really doing is adding immense amounts of energy to a system, and that energy is expressing itself in all kinds of ways: more evaporation, more precipitation, higher wind speeds, rapid melt of ice across the Arctic and across every glacial system that we know about, on and on and on.
It is — you know, we used to think that we were still a decade or two away from the real emergency. That’s what we would have said twenty years ago, when I wrote The End of Nature. Now, we understand, the modeling makes clear, that the planet was more finely balanced than we’ve understood. What we’ve done so far has been enough to throw every physical system on earth out of kilter.
What we’re fighting for now is not to prevent global warming. There is going to be some global warming; there already is. What we’re fighting for now is to keep that miserable and difficult century of global warming from turning into an absolute catastrophe that rewrites the geology and biology of this planet for eons to come.26 November 2007 at 8:00 am #4312
from AFP report:Quote:More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago, British charity Oxfam said in a study Sunday that largely blamed global warming.
“Oxfam… says that rising green house gas emissions are the major cause of weather-related disasters and must be tackled,” the organisation said, adding that the world’s poorest people were being hit the hardest.
The world suffered about 120 natural disasters per year in the early 1980s, which compared with the current figure of about 500 per year, according to the report.
“This year we have seen floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and Mexico that have affected more than 250 million people,” noted Oxfam director Barbara Stocking.
“This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people.”
Floods and wind-storms have increased from 60 events in 1980 to 240 last year, with flooding itself up six-fold.
But the number of geothermal events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, has barely changed.3 December 2007 at 8:24 am #4313
Associated Press report, on another change that’s evidently underway, and faster than computer models had predicted:Quote:Earth’s tropical belt seems to have expanded a couple hundred miles over the past quarter century, which could mean more arid weather for some already dry subtropical regions, new climate research shows. … The newest study, published Sunday in the new scientific journal Nature Geoscience, shows that by using the weather definition, the tropics are expanding toward Earth’s poles more than predicted. And that means more dry weather is moving to the edges of the tropics in places like the U.S. Southwest. …
Climate scientists have long predicted a growing tropical belt toward the end of the 21st century because of man-made global warming. But what has happened in the past quarter century is larger and more puzzling than initially predicted, said Dian Seidel, a research meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Silver Spring, Md. She is the author of the newest study. "They are big changes," she said. "It’s a little puzzling." …
climate scientists Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria and Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Seidel’s work makes sense and that computer models have consistently been underestimating the ill effects of global warming. "Every time you look at what the world is doing it’s always far more dramatic than what climate models predict," Weaver said.
Earth’s Tropics Belt Expands22 December 2007 at 11:17 pm #4314
From AFP:Quote:Global warming has caused some of China’s glaciers — a source for many of Asia’s greatest rivers — to have melted by more than 18 percent over the past five years, state media reported Friday.
A survey of nearly 20,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles) of China’s glaciers showed they were on average 7.4 percent smaller than five years ago, Caijing magazine said, citing a government-funded survey.30 December 2007 at 3:55 am #4315
From the World Meteorological Organization:Quote:Weather and climate are marked by record extremes in many regions across the world since January 2007. In January and April 2007 it is likely that global land surface temperatures ranked warmest since records began in 1880, 1.89°C warmer than average for January and 1.37°C warmer than average for April. Several regions have experienced extremely heavy precipitation, leading to severe floods. The Fourth Assessment Report of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes an increasing trend in extreme events observed during the last 50 years. IPCC further projects it to be very likely that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent.
The World Meteorological Organization reports on extreme weather and climate events See also an Associated Press item that concludes:Quote:As man-made climate change continues, the world will experience more extreme weather, bursts of heat, torrential rain and prolonged drought, they said. "We’re having an increasing trend of odd years," said Michael MacCracken, a former top federal climate scientist, now chief scientist at the Climate Institute in Washington. "Pretty soon odd years are going to become the norm."
2007 a Year of Weather Records in U.S.
(also considers extremes around the globe)15 January 2008 at 2:09 pm #4316
I’ve seen claims re Antarctic ice increasing, supposedly showing global warming isn’t really such an issue. Contradicted by this research.Quote:The western part of Antarctica is shedding ice much faster today than it was just ten years ago, according to new satellite measurements.
The measurements, which surveyed the coasts of nearly the entire continent, suggest that climate models underestimate how quickly Antarctica responds to ongoing global warming, said study co-author Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol in England.
They found that for Antarctica overall, the ice loss increased about 75 percent over the ten-year period, from 112 gigatons of ice per year in 1996 to 196 gigatons of ice per year in 2006.
As to whether Antarctica will lose or gain ice as global warming proceeds, the measurements disagree with existing climate models that suggest “[the ice sheet] is going to get bigger because of increased snowfall with warming temperatures,” Bamber said.
“We don’t see that. We see the ice sheet losing mass,” he said. “So there’s a bit of a paradigm shift in what the ice sheet has done recently and what it could do in the future.”
Scientists are concerned the melting ice will contribute to a dangerous sea level rise.
The “most likely explanation” for the increased ice loss is that warming waters are melting away ice at the grounding point, according to Bamber.
…22 January 2008 at 4:09 am #4317
This recalls post above, re Oxfam saying numbers of weather related disasters have increased.Quote:The international Red Cross said on Monday it will refocus its budget and aid appeals for the coming year to better meet the growing threat of climate change and associated natural disasters.
IFRC secretary general Markku Niskala said that the number of weather-related natural disasters, such as droughts and floods, has risen to around 400 each year in the last two years, from an average of 200 per year in the last decade.
“Climate change is also having a very real and very worrisome impact on water supplies, on food production and even on health crises,” he said.16 March 2008 at 3:17 pm #4318
From the Observer:Quote:The world’s glaciers are melting faster than at any time since records began, threatening catastrophe for hundreds of millions of people and their eco-systems.
The details are revealed in the latest report from the World Glacier Monitoring Service and will add to growing alarm about the rise in sea levels and increased instances of flooding, avalanches and drought.
Based on historical records and other evidence, the rate at which the glaciers are melting is also thought to be faster that at any time in the past 5,000 years, said Professor Wilfried Haeberli, director of the monitoring service. ‘There’s no absolute proof, but nevertheless the evidence is strong: this is really extraordinary.’
Experts have been monitoring 30 glaciers around the world for nearly three decades and the most recent figures, for 2006, show the biggest ever ‘net loss’ of ice. Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told The Observer that melting glaciers were now the ‘loudest and clearest’ warning signal of global warming.
The problem could lead to failing infrastructure, mass migration and even conflict. ‘We’re talking about something that happens in your and my lifespan. We’re not talking about something hypothetical, we’re talking about something dramatic in its consequences,’ he said27 March 2008 at 2:18 am #4319Quote:Satellite imagery from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder reveals that a 13,680 square kilometer (5,282 square mile) ice shelf has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of Antarctica.
The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a broad plate of permanent floating ice on the southwest Antarctic Peninsula, about 1,000 miles south of South America. In the past 50 years, the western Antarctic Peninsula has experienced the biggest temperature increase on Earth, rising by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 degree Fahrenheit) per decade. NSIDC Lead Scientist Ted Scambos, who first spotted the disintegration in March, said, “We believe the Wilkins has been in place for at least a few hundred years. But warm air and exposure to ocean waves are causing a break-up.”
Satellite images indicate that the Wilkins began its collapse on February 28; data revealed that a large iceberg, 41 by 2.5 kilometers (25.5 by 1.5 miles), fell away from the ice shelf’s southwestern front, triggering a runaway disintegration of 405 square kilometers (160 square miles) of the shelf interior. The edge of the shelf crumbled into the sky-blue pattern of exposed deep glacial ice that has become characteristic of climate-induced ice shelf break-ups such as the Larsen B in 2002. A narrow beam of intact ice, just 6 kilometers wide (3.7 miles) was protecting the remaining shelf from further breakup as of March 23.
Scientists track ice shelves and study collapses carefully because some of them hold back glaciers, which if unleashed, can accelerate and raise sea level. Scambos said, “The Wilkins disintegration won’t raise sea level because it already floats in the ocean, and few glaciers flow into it. However, the collapse underscores that the Wilkins region has experienced an intense melt season. Regional sea ice has all but vanished, leaving the ice shelf exposed to the action of waves.”
With Antarctica’s summer melt season drawing to a close, scientists do not expect the Wilkins to further disintegrate in the next several months. “This unusual show is over for this season,” Scambos said. “But come January, we’ll be watching to see if the Wilkins continues to fall apart.”
Antarctic Ice Shelf Disintegration Underscores a Warming World
there’s video clip showing the disintegration at:
http://nsidc.org/news/images/20080325_wilkins_animation_low.mov25 April 2008 at 1:55 am #4320
From a bloomberg item:Quote:Global warming is hitting the Arctic harder and faster than scientists expected, causing unforeseen changes to the frigid region’s ice, wildlife, atmosphere and oceans, the conservation group WWF said.
The most prominent differences observed over the last three years include a “massively accelerated” decline in summer sea ice and “much greater” shrinking of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the environmental campaign group, known in the U.S. as the World Wildlife Fund, said in a 123-page report today.
“We’re seeing more rapid temperature-warming,” Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, said by phone. The best explanation is “a trigger from greenhouse gases,” he said. Scambos wasn’t involved in the WWF report.22 January 2009 at 3:19 am #4574
From National Geographic website:Quote:Temperatures are warming throughout Antarctica, especially in winter and spring, according to new weather station and satellite data.
The evidence contradicts studies showing that only the Antarctic Peninsula was warming while the rest of the continent has cooled.
The previous data has, in a least one case, fueled skepticism about global warming.
The new study also reveals that western Antarctica may actually be warming faster than the Antarctic Peninsula, "the biggest surprise" to study lead author Eric Steig, a climate researcher at the University of Washington.18 June 2009 at 4:57 am #4623Quote:Climate change is already reshaping the United States, according to a new federal report that predicts global warming could have serious consequences for how Americans live and work.
Hotter temperatures, an increase in heavy downpours, and rising sea levels are among the effects of "unequivocal" warming, concludes the report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Winters are now shorter and warmer than they were 30 years ago, with the largest temperature rise — more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit — observed in the Midwest and northern Great Plains.
The changes are already affecting human health, agriculture, coastal areas, transportation and water supplies. And climate change will intensify over the next century even with significant action to limit greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
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