28 August 2009

Our Kids Will Be Hot

Our kids will be hot, and not just because they have such good looking parents.

Because if our emissions aren't reined in quick, and I mean darned quick, this is what the U.S. could be facing by 2050. Yes, Kansas and Oklahoma could fare worse than Colorado. But I'm telling you, I don't think many Coloradans will think too highly of 7.5°F higher (or more!) temperatures in the summer.

We now endure long weeks of 95 degree Fahrenheit weather most summers. When my children are my age, in Colorado, those weeks may have heats in the low triple digits.

Places like Florida and Louisiana will fare much better in terms of raw temperature changes, but will have to face another threat: land lost as sea levels rise, particular in coastal wetlands and in cities like Miami and New Orleans. Dutch style dikes and Venetian style flood management may become the next trend of necessity there. The Great Plains could see another dust bowl. Glaciers will recede further and tourism driving snow in Colorado's mountains is also a likely casualty.

Those engaged in long term landscape planning should look to what they do in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas. Cycads in, maple trees and willows out?

It isn't to late to make a difference that will mitigate these predictions. But, we don't have a great track record of making responses to slow moving disasters any sooner than we must, and some of the damage is already irreversible.

1 comment:

Kevin Dickson said...

This summer was amazing. Apparently it was record-setting for rain.

Our summers until about 1985 always had lots of those afternoon showers.

Some older folks still say, "You don't need air conditioning in Denver". Well, that's just not true anymore.