Released during the Black Friday national breakdown, the Fourth National Climate Rating is only the latest in a series of bleak reports. Experts analyze events that are already evolving around us as a result of climate change and offer a series of future scenarios based on how – and if – the global community manages to slow down rising carbon dioxide emissions.
"We see these predictions happening across the country now," says Mark Urban, an economist at Connecticut University. Of course, for scientists, this fear is nothing new. "I would argue that it is exactly the same story that has been said for 25 years," says Brett Scheffers, a global environmentalist at University of Florida.
"OUR people are now forced to face dangerous high temperatures, rising seas, deadly fires, torrential rains and devastating hurricanes," said Brenda Ekwurzel in a prepared statement published on the Union's Concerned Scientists' Web site. He is the director of climatic science at UCS.
A common misconception is that all these reports on climate change have actually pushed countries around the world to cut emissions and that emissions are then declining, says Scheffer. The opposite is true: emissions continue to rise. And although there are international agreements aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, many countries (including the United States and our neighboring northern Canada) can not respond to these. "We have not done anything yet about it and the victims continue to climb," says Urban. Because climate change affects the entire planet, it affects everyone, from the natural world to the economy. "These systems are quite conjugated, whether they realize it or not," says Scheffer.
This is a message with little hope in this, because the changes we make in our own interest in denying climate change will also help plants and animals that can not survive the heating temperatures. The worst possible effects of climate change may possibly be mitigated by ensuring that the rise in temperature does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius, but it does not matter what is happening now.
Even if you accept the reality of climate change as an active and powerful force, it may be hard to know what is likely to hit there. Here's a look at how climate change already affects – and will continue to affect – your own corner of the nearby United States. We've linked each section of the report, written in plain English, if you want to know more about your site.
Perhaps the most visible change in the Northeast is the decline in seasonality. The rich fall foliage that attracts so many tourists will no longer happen, and the trees themselves will probably die and change. "Colorful foliage of autumn, winter recreation and summer holidays on the mountains or on the beach are all important parts of the cultural identity of the North East Aegis and this tourism contributes billions of dollars to the regional economy," the report said.
Whether or not we end up with the levels recommended in the report, the Northeast faces the biggest rise in temperature in the adjacent United States by 2035. This change "will happen up to two decades before world average temperatures reach a similar milestone," the report .
An unwanted action is the spread of insects such as mosquitoes and black flies. "There are many animals that literally live in hell," says Scheffer, facing population reductions due to bite insects that literally suck them to dry. Mosquitoes also spread the disease to human populations.
"We are basically a tropicist of these United States," says Scheffer. And all these different areas are deeply connected. Apalatsi, for example – the home of the largest variety of salamander on Earth, "live like layer cakes" in temperature ranges up to the mountains, says Schaffer-stretch from the northeast to the southeast.
"Every state [in the country]if I put my finger on it, you could make a few predictions, "Scheffer says. He also says, parts of the southeastern region – specifically Florida – are" zero ground "for the effects of climate change.
"These hazards vary in nature and size from place to place", and while some impacts on climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme falls, are now strongly felt, others, such as rising exposure to dangerously high temperatures – and often accompanied by high humidity – and new local diseases are expected to become more important in the coming decades. "
"My understanding of the Midwest is that it is climatically unpredictable," says Scheffer. The biggest consequence of climate change here: volatile weather will cause stress in the environment and make it difficult to grow crops every year. "Raising rainfall, especially heavy rainfall, has increased the overall flood risk, causing disruptions to transport and damage to property and infrastructure," the report said.
This variability undermines the efficiency of sophisticated technology that allows farmers to maintain efficient farming systems, says Scheffer. At the same time, the area is expected to warm up overall and night nights are tied to declining yields, he says. The Midwest is also likely to be affected by weather patterns in the Arctic, as this region melts and fundamentally transforms, he says, which can also cause unexpectedly cold events.
In the country with fruit a little east, "we see the winter cooling events decline," that the fruits are based, he says. Does that mean we will not have peaches and plums anymore? "No," he says, but it means that farmers should invest in the constant change of varieties they plant to match new temperatures – a huge use of capital and effort and another huge inefficiency.
Both the North and the Southern Great Plains have already a highly changing climate and conflicts between the various actors in resource use – indigenous breeds, stockbreeders and resource producers are only three.
"Southern Great Plains, consisting of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, experience dramatic and consequential weather," the report said. "Hurricanes, floods, storms with heavy hail and tornadoes, snowstorms, ice storms, relentless winds, heat waves and drought – their people and economies are often at the mercy of some of the most diverse and extreme weather conditions on the planet. "We can expect this volatility to grow and increase only dramatically.
The West already sees some of the most dramatic effects of climate change. "We see fires, and we will see more fires, and we will see also more landslides," says Scheffer. A combination of drought and rain, with "more extreme conditions at a given time", will help destabilize the climate in these areas and destabilize lives, as Camp Fire shows dramatically in California.
In the mountains that are part of this area, animals will try to survive, but they may not be successful. Urban offers Pika as an example of a vulnerable species. "Now that these mountain peaks are warming up, this is a body that does not shed its fur," he says. The problem is obvious: Pika can not adapt to the changing climate and can not simply be transferred to a different, coolest hillside. "We can think of the mountains as the islands of the sky," says Urban. When conditions change, there is nowhere.
Of course, these limits are artificially constructed. This global process is great and incomprehensible, but you can understand and influence what is happening at your own threshold. "These ecosystems are starting to break," says Urban. How many ecosystems are currently destabilizing and what takes their place will depend on many factors – but the least we can do is observe.