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NOAA Releases Report Assessing National and Regional Impacts of Global Climate Change

July 10, 2009
NOAA Report

NOAA Report

A consortium of 13 U.S. government science agencies, major universities and research institutes recently completed a two-year in-depth scientific study using new weather and climate data outlining regional weather impacts brought on by global climate change.  Key among the findings is an analysis of the impact rising temperatures and sea levels will have on creating or amplifying extreme weather patterns.  These patterns will in turn have distinct ramifications for the nation’s transportation, agriculture, health, water and energy sectors. While local patterns will be difficult to predict, the general trend identified in the study indicates weather events will become more intense and severe.

The report, lead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds:
  • Heat waves will become more frequent and intense.
  • Droughts in drought prone areas or regions experiencing recent droughts will see more intense drought conditions.
  • Increased heavy downpours will lead to more localized flooding, increased runoff, and disruptions to energy, agriculture and water systems.
  • Insect infestations and wildfires have been on the increase and will continue to increase.

Perhaps the most affected sector will be agriculture, heavily dependent on climate and weather for food, fuel, and fiber production.  While growing seasons will lengthen, particularly in cooler zones such as that found in Minnesota, heat, drought, and flood events become not only more likely, but more severe as well.  Further, insect management becomes more difficult as the climate changes to one more amenable to insect growth as well as insects migrate from other regions. 

The report does not include any policy recommendations regarding ways to address climate change.  Rather, the purpose was to provide a prediction of a climate changed future and the impacts it will have on every sector.

Click here to read the full report and here to learn about specific impacts on the Midwest.

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