01 June 2008

Global Warming Predictions

Arid parts of the United States, like Colorado, and low elevation coastal area, like Southern Florida, seem like the parts of the United States most likely to be hurt by global warming.

A new U.S. government report, hailed for not ignoring mainstream science as previous reports did, makes predictions about global warming's impact over the next century.

Twenty-one models were used. Most "predict average warming in the United States this century topping 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Changes in five out of the 21 models used in the IPCC report shot above 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The report also draws on IPCC projections of global sea level rise between 7 and 23 inches this century."

The changes are likely to make farming more prone to crop failures, to make wild fires more common, increase drought in the arid American West, to reduce mountain snowpacks, to stunt coral reefs and to narrow polar bear habitat. Joshua tress are also in trouble.

Meanwhile, a new study on urban area carbon footprints points fingers at who is responsible. Denver was slightly better than average. New York did well because of high public transportation useage. West Coast cities, including Los Angeles, did well because they generate so little of their electricity with coal. The Midwest, less dense Eastern cities, and the South were the worst per capita carbon producers. Greater Cincinnati was one of the worst, as was greater Toledo.

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