The Shape of Things to Come
The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee has issued a draft of its next report on U.S. climate impacts. The draft will no doubt change as a result of the public comment period, but the broad outlines are likely to stay the same.
Here are some of the key predictions:
Higher temperatures. “U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2°F to 4°F of warming in most areas. The amount of warming by the end of the century is projected to correspond closely to the cumulative global emissions of greenhouse gases up to that time: roughly 3°F to 5°F under a lower emissions scenario[and]involving substantial reductions in emissions after 2050 … and 5°F to 10°F for a higher emissions scenario assuming continued increases in emissions.”
More extremes. “There is strong evidence to indicate that human influence on the climate has already roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat events like the record-breaking summer of 2011 in Texas and Oklahoma.”
Higher seas. “Sea level is projected to rise by another 1 to 4 feet in this century….The stakes are high, as nearly five million Americans live within four feet of the local high-tide level.”