Climate Photo of the Week
"Climate change is happening now... in every part of the United States." National Climate Assessment, most thorough review of how we're being affected, also says progressive change is beginning in how we make and use energy, but much, much more is needed.
This new report, the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, is packed with facts, ideas, problems and solutions, and is a guide to how your area is already feeling climate disruption and what your neighbors and businesses are beginning to do about it. The Assessment report connects the U.S. -- with less than 2 percent of the total area of the Earth, but directly causing more than 17 percent of greenhouse gas pollution -- with people in the rest of the world who are also already affected by climate disruption. You can find simple digests of the findings or detailed scientific and governmental information, for the entire nation or just your region -- your choice of how deeply to read -- but it is important to understand how strongly climate disruptions are already hitting the U. S.
We all should also realize that these changes in weather and natural events and their cause didn't sneak up on us. Climate science is very well established and has long forecast the changes affecting us now. As I said in my book Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World, "We know more about what is happening with global warming than we do about stocks, business plans, and, apparently, military planning." And we've known for a long time: "...climate science and climate change are older than the atom bomb, older than the discovery of penicillin and the older than recognition of DNA," said Adam Frank on NPR. "It's older than trans-Atlantic jet flights, digital computers and moon rockets. Climate science and its conclusions are now venerable, established science. To claim anything else is to rewrite history."
For a visual tour of some of the Key Messages in the words of the Assessment, see this picture series.
Global climate is changing and this change is apparent across a wide range of observations. The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities.
U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since record keeping began in 1895; most of this increase has occurred since about 1970. The most recent decade was the nation’s warmest on record. Temperatures in the United States are expected to continue to rise. Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time.
The length of the frost-free season (and the corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture. Across the United States, the growing season is projected to continue to lengthen.
Please continue HERE for the rest of 17 selected Key Findings of the National Climate Assessment, illustrated with photos.
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