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United States hit hard by climate change and Global warming

May 13, 2014 1:18 PM |

Climate change is growing worse with each passing day, becoming real and proving to be a threat to our planet. The effects of human-induced climate changes are being severely felt in the United States. A recent report known as the National Climate Assessment, mandated by around 300 leading scientists and climate experts, stated that water is becoming scarcer in dry regions while wet ones are being lashed by more and more rain.

Climate change was once considered a probing issue for a distant future but now can be felt in our present day and Global warming has already started affecting the planet. Such adverse weather conditions are leading to longer and hotter summers with extended periods of unusual heat. The length and severity of seasonal allergies are also changing.

Frequent occurrences of heat waves are increasing the number of wildfires. These grave changes are believed to have been caused by an average warming of around 2 degrees Fahrenheit over most of the land areas of the United States during the past century. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are also escalating at a rapid pace and if they continue accelerating, Global warming could exceed by 10 degrees at the end of this century.

Places in northern parts of United States, particularly Alaska are feeling the effects of Global warming at a swifter pace than had been expected. In this state, glaciers are melting and as fragile coastlines are no longer protected by winter sea ice they are being eroded by storms, forcing inhabitants to move inland. Miami and other parts of south Florida are also some of the most vulnerable hot spots for climate change.

Here are some geographic specific impacts which have socio- economic and ecosystem consequences in the Unites States:

In the Northeast, heat waves and extreme precipitation events leading to flooding from sea level rise and storm surge has been observed.

The Northwest of U.S. will witness early snowmelt and changes in stream flow timing could reduce water supply in summer seasons.

Southeast and Caribbean have major risk from hurricanes and decrease in water availability.

Southwest has a danger of droughts and wildfires and competition for scarce water resources.

Midwest region might have an increase in crop yields due to longer growing seasons. The ever rising carbon dioxide level could lead to heat waves, droughts and floods.

In the Great Plains, rising temperatures will lead to surge in demand for water and energy. Consequently agricultural practices will be affected.

With rapid ebbing of summer sea ice, glaciers shrinking and thawing of permafrost in Alaska, infrastructure could be damaged and ecosystems affected.

Decrease in freshwater supplies and increased temperatures could negatively impact food and water supply in Hawaii and Pacific Islands.

Government concern

As the report unveiled at the White House, President Barack Obama assured that the administration will introduce new regulations to limit emissions. Global warming has raged a political refute with Republican members of Congress calling global warming “a hoax”, carried out by global conspiracy. Other Republicans believe that climate change is real, but also feel that the president is plotting a war on coal and his policies could destroy a lot of miners.

As conscious human beings we owe the coming generations a clean, safe and habitable planet. Accordingly, we should wake up and start working together as a connected family.

picture courtesy- Conserve energy future

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