Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Our Burning Planet

A 543-page report by scientists from 13 federal agencies details rapidly rising temperatures in the United States since 1980 and cites global events including an extreme heatwave in Europe in 2003 and in Australia in 2013, as concrete examples of climate change, saying that both examples offer "relatively strong evidence" that humans are contributing to global warming.

The authors write that they have "a medium degree of confidence" that rising temperatures throughout much of the U.S. are linked to human activity. The report also concludes that so much damage has already been done by the greenhouse gases humans have emitted into the atmosphere, warming would still continue over the next century even if emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases were to stop immediately.

Just in the next few decades average temperatures in the US will go up 2.5 degrees F. But by 2100, only 80 years from now, the average temperature will be 5 to 8.5 degrees F. higher! Remember, average surface temperature includes the cold Great Lakes and cold North Dakota. So in any particular place, say Savannah or Atlanta or Phoenix, the temperature could go up even higher than 8.5 degrees F. The scientists are saying that unusual record temperatures will become normal. Some whole cities (Tucson, for example) could become uninhabitable.