(Continued from parts I and II.)
Last but not least (actually, what quite literally hits closest to home!):
- Moderate climate change in the early decades of the century is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5-20 percent, but with important variability among regions.
- Warming in Western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding, and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources.
- Disturbances from pests, diseases, and fire are projected to have increasing impacts on forests, with an extended period of high fire risk and large increases in area burned.
- Cities that currently experience heat waves are expected to be further challenged by an increased number, intensity, and duration of heat waves during the course of the century.
- Current adaptation [to stress posed toward coastal communities] is uneven and readiness for increased exposure is low.
In the United States, we have the most to lose from changing climate. And yet so many of our citizens are not worried. According to a recent Gallup pole, that attitude isn’t going over well globally. Historically and today, we are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of the emissions and have yet to take responsibility or action.
That attitude needs to change because of the consequences to nature, the globe, and — we can’t forget — ourselves.