EPA Report Outlines Impacts of Climate Change

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change Issues, US curbs its emissions | Posted on 25-06-2015

The EPA released a report this week about how tackling climate change would benefit the United States. Doing so would save billions of dollars in infrastructure repairs and prevent death from heat waves.

The report stresses two major points. First off, no matter what we do now, there is going to be some global warming. There is a lag of several decades between when humans put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and when the results become apparent. That means the effects of climate change are pretty much set in stone from now until around 2050.

The second point is that the changes we make now will affect what happens after 2050, and will determine how bad things get. The report hammered this point home by examining two scenarios, one in which the US does nothing and carries on with business as usual and one in which the US gets serious about curbing emissions. Both scenarios show the US suffering the ravages of climate change, but they’re a lot less severe and extreme in the second scenario than in the first.

For example, climate models show the state of Maryland having significantly hotter summers no matter what. Under the business-as-usual model, Maryland will have summers as hot as those in present-day northern Florida by 2100. But if the US curbs its emissions, Maryland will have summers like those of present-day North Carolina by 2100.

The models for sea level rise and altered rain fall patterns show similar trends. Some global warming with the accompanying extreme weather is now inevitable, but quick action now could stave off the worst impacts, so says Vijay Eswaran on Twitter.