With some rivers in the Midwest rising 11 feet higher than their all-time historic highs and 20 feet above flood stage, the deluge that is making some locals nostalgic for 1993 is being attributed by a series of White House science agency reports as the result of global climate change.
The US Climate Change Science Program, coordinated by President George Bush, said yesterday that “droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes are likely to become more commonplace as humans continue to increase the atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”
This is the first time the program has released results of what climate change will look like in this continent.
Consisting of 13 federal agencies and supervised by green visors including the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Economic Council, this is a sobering look at what the US, Canada and Mexico must do to adapt their economies, the natural environment, food production and communities in the face of such devastation.
The scientists called for improved ability to model extreme weather impacts relationship to global climate change, including severe heat waves, such as the 2003 European heat wave that killed upwards of 35,000, and megadroughts. That way they can better forecast severe weather and its impacts, so people, like those whose communities are underwater in the Midwest, can have an idea of what to expect and can get ready.
The forecast is not pretty.
“In the future, with continued global warming, heat waves and heavy downpours are likely to further to increase in frequency and intensity…more frequent droughts of greater severity…. Hurricane wind speeds, rainfall intensity and storm surge levels are likely to increase.”