Wednesday, June 17, 2009

President Obama's Global Climate Change Report 2009

The White House launched a new science report on Tuesday that represents a consensus of 13 agencies developed over a year and half and focused on potential climate change impacts on the United States. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States [View the powerpoint presentation] is the most comprehensive report to date on the possible impacts of climate change for everyone across America. The report recommends how we can effective manage our response to a changing climate falls into two general categories:

1) Implementing measures to limit climate change and therefore avoid many of the impacts discussed in the report. These measures must reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and might include increasing our reliance on clean energy, and developing energy efficient technologies
2) Reducing our vulnerability and increasing our resilience to ongoing climate change in pro-active, community-based ways. Examples of this include such measures as developing more climate-sensitive building codes to keep people out of harm’s way, or planting more drought or heat tolerant crops, for example.

Some of the impacts that the report mentions are:

· More rain is already coming in very heavy events, and this is projected to increase across the nation. This would have impacts on transportation, agriculture, water quality, health, and more;
· Heat waves will become more frequent and intense, increasing threats to human health and quality of life, especially in cities;
· Warming will decrease demand for heating energy in winter and increase demand for cooling energy in summer. The latter will increase peak electricity demand in most regions;
· Water resources will be stressed in many regions. For example, snowpack is declining in the West, and there is an increasing probability of drought in the Southwest, while floods and water quality issues are likely to be more of a problem in most regions;
· In coastal communities, sea-level rise and storm surge will increase threats to homes and infrastructure including water, sewer, transportation and communication systems.

More of the report’s findings are located at U.S. Global Change Research Program, the interagency Government program that commissioned the report. The report was led by NOAA.

The White House

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