On Tuesday, the Obama administration, in a joint venture with 13 federal agencies, released a report highlighting the effects of climate change on different regions of the United States. The report, required by law, states that climate change is unequivocal and largely due to man-made greenhouse gas emissions. It paints a picture of what the United States could look like in 2100. Some of the predictions contained in the report include an average temperature increase of 4-11°F by 2100, more downpours, an increase in the number of days above 90°F for the Southeast, more droughts in the Southwest, sea level rise which could inundate southern Florida, and changing water supply patterns. The report also indicated that the growing season could become longer, which would otherwise appear to be a boon to the agriculture industry, but increased pests, weeds and watering needs would take away from benefits of a longer growing season.
Authors of the report emphasized that climate change is not a phenomenon of the future, but is happening right now all over the country. “What we would want to have people take away is that climate change is happening now, and it’s actually beginning to affect our lives,” said Thomas Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a principal author of the report. “It’s not just happening in the Arctic regions, but it’s beginning to show up in our own backyards.”