Climate Changes by Region

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The Evolutionary Ape's picture
The Evolutionary Ape
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 31 2009
Posts: 62
Climate Changes by Region

Interesting article about the climate change in the US by section.  So now my question is, where's the best place to live?  Quoted from Christian Science Monitor's Article http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/2009/06/16/how-will-climate-ch...

 

Here’s some of what the “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” report sees as already happening in various parts of the country and predicts will occur unless changes are made:

Alaska

– Longer summers and higher temperatures are causing drier conditions, even in the absence of strong trends in precipitation.
– Insect outbreaks and wildfires are increasing with warming.
– Lakes are declining in area.
– Thawing permafrost damages roads, runways, water and sewer systems, and other infrastructure.
– Coastal storms increase risks to villages and fishing fleets.
– Displacement of marine species will affect key fisheries.

Northwest

– Declining springtime snowpack leads to reduced summer streamflows, straining water supplies.
– Increased insect outbreaks, wildfires, and changing species composition in forests will pose challenges for ecosystems and the forest products industry.
– Salmon and other coldwater species will experience additional stresses as a result of rising water temperatures and declining summer streamflows.
– The projected reduction in snow cover will adversely affect winter recreation and the industries that rely upon it.
– Sea-level rise along vulnerable coastlines will result in increased erosion and the loss of land.

Southwest

– Water supplies will become increasingly scarce, calling for trade-offs among competing uses, and potentially leading to conflict.
– Increasing temperature, drought, wildfire, and invasive species will accelerate transformation of the landscape.
– Increased frequency and altered timing of flooding will increase risks to people, ecosystems, and infrastructure.
– Unique tourism and recreation opportunities are likely to suffer.
– Cities and agriculture face increasing risks from a changing climate

Great Plains

–  Projected increases in temperature, evaporation, and drought frequency add to concerns about the region’s declining water resources.
– Agriculture, ranching, and natural lands, already under pressure due to an increasingly limited water supply, are very likely to also be stressed by rising temperatures.
– Climate change is likely to affect native plant and animal species by altering key habitats such as the wetland ecosystems known as prairie potholes or playa lakes.
– Ongoing shifts in the region’s population from rural areas to urban centers will interact with a changing climate, resulting in a variety of consequences.

Midwest

– Projected increases in temperature, evaporation, and drought frequency add to concerns about the region’s declining water resources.
– Agriculture, ranching, and natural lands, already under pressure due to an increasingly limited water supply, are very likely to also be stressed by rising temperatures.
– Climate change is likely to affect native plant and animal species by altering key habitats such as the wetland ecosystems known as prairie potholes or playa lakes.
– Ongoing shifts in the region’s population from rural areas to urban centers will interact with a changing climate, resulting in a variety of consequences.

Northeast

– Extreme heat and declining air quality are likely to pose increasing problems for human health, especially in urban areas.
– Agricultural production, including dairy, fruit, and maple syrup, are likely to be adversely affected as favorable climates shift.
– Severe flooding due to sea-level rise and heavy downpours is likely to occur more frequently.
– The projected reduction in snow cover will adversely affect winter recreation and the industries that rely upon it.
– The center of lobster fisheries is projected to continue its northward shift and the cod fishery on Georges Bank is likely to be diminished.

Southeast

– Projected increases in air and water temperatures will cause heat-related stresses for people, plants, and animals.
– Decreased water availability is very likely to affect the region’s economy as well as its natural systems.
– Sea-level rise and the likely increase in hurricane intensity and associated storm surge will be among the most serious consequences of climate change.
– Ecological thresholds are likely to be crossed throughout the region, causing major disruptions to ecosystems and to the benefits they provide to people.
– Quality of life will be affected by increasing heat stress, water scarcity, severe weather events, and reduced availability of insurance for at-risk properties.

Islands (in the Pacific and the Caribbean)

 – The availability of freshwater is likely to be reduced, with significant implications for island communities, economies, and resources.
– Island communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems are vulnerable to coastal inundation due to sea-level rise and coastal storms.
– Climate changes affecting coastal and marine ecosystems will have major implications for tourism and fisheries.

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1444
Re: Climate Changes by Region

I have homes in the mid atlantic, nw and california.  The nw has had a record amount of snow over the past 3 years in which Seattle itself has essentially been shut down numerous times due to massive snowfall.  This has never been seen before.  So IMO, that regional report is incorrect. 

Mid Atlantic has seen more rain the past 3 years than average.  Snowfall has come later than normal but the avg. temp. has been decreasing through the winter as well as spring....Not increasing.  My fruit and garden output/volume is incredible.  So is the volume coming out of most farms in the area!  So again, IMO the regional data is wrong if I were to lump us with the NE.

California is california.  It's a desert transformed into living communities.  The temps have stayed constant.  The Feds have put their hands into the water flow issue in which farms are not getting their share of water due to this BS!  

Sorry, not buying it. 

Doug's picture
Doug
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Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3200
Re: Climate Changes by Region

Trying to make predictions of how regions will be affected is doomed to fail.  The climate system is just too large with too many variables.  About the only projection that can be made with some confidence is that local climates will change, probably to a more turbulent system. 

For instance, the area I live in appears to be having higher annual low temperatures over the last 25 years or so.  We could pretty much count on having a few -10 degree days each winter when I first moved to this area in '82.  This winter the temp dropped below 0 degrees for the first time in the last few years.  The last couple years have been much windier than in the past.  The evidence is clear in the amount of blow down I have to clean up and the number of trees that are felled by wind.  There have also been changes in lake effect snow patterns.  Now, the time period is too short to attribute these changes to GW, but it isn't unreasonable to conclude we may be seeing such effects.

The changes in the polar and subpolar regions are more pronounced.  Melting glaciers and permafrost are obvious and bringing about significant changes in vegetation and the way people live in these regions.

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