More extreme weather is predicted for the United States, according to a draft of the National Climate Report released by the Federal Advisory Committee. Heat waves, along with coastal and river flooding will continue to threaten the country’s environmental and economic systems, causing climate-related hazards.
The Northeastern US section of the new climate assessment report focuses on the effects climate-related issues will have on some 64 million people living in high-density urban and agricultural areas. With average temperatures already 1.5 degrees higher than in 1895, these regions are likely to see an increase in temperature by the end of the century ranging from 3 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, says the report.
“This document will be an essential science-based resource for decision-makers in our communities and businesses who are rolling up their sleeves to take on the challenges and build resilience to climate change,” stated David Wolfe, lead author on a Northeast climate section and chairman of the Climate Change Focus Group at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
Global sea levels have risen by 8 inches over the past century, causing the sea temperatures in the U.S. coastal areas to rise by almost 1 degree Fahrenheit. In addition, the ocean absorbs about 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions which causes acidification and threatens the shellfish stocks and coral reef habitats.
“The ocean resources chapter is new this year, reflecting the increasingly significant impacts being catalogued in marine ecosystems, in addition to the coastal impacts described in a separate chapter of the report,” said Drew Harvell, associate director for environment at the Atkinson Center and co-author of the report.
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