Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
5Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Protecting the Homeland – the Rising Costs of Inaction on Climate Change

Protecting the Homeland – the Rising Costs of Inaction on Climate Change

Ratings: (0)|Views: 1,278|Likes:
The effects of climate change are already taking a serious toll on the United States. Rising sea levels, more severe and frequent droughts, floods, wildfires, and storms threaten critical infrastructure, military preparedness, and human life.

Climate change is also sapping the economy and straining federal budgets as the government is forced to pay out record levels in disaster relief each year.

This fact sheet lays out some of the trends in climate events over the last ten to fifteen years, demonstrating rising threats to the United States.

Mitigating greenhouse gases is necessary to reduce the effects of climate change. However, the United States must also take adaptation measures in order to minimize the inevitable consequences of climate change.
The effects of climate change are already taking a serious toll on the United States. Rising sea levels, more severe and frequent droughts, floods, wildfires, and storms threaten critical infrastructure, military preparedness, and human life.

Climate change is also sapping the economy and straining federal budgets as the government is forced to pay out record levels in disaster relief each year.

This fact sheet lays out some of the trends in climate events over the last ten to fifteen years, demonstrating rising threats to the United States.

Mitigating greenhouse gases is necessary to reduce the effects of climate change. However, the United States must also take adaptation measures in order to minimize the inevitable consequences of climate change.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: The American Security Project on May 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/14/2014

pdf

text

original

 
    F
    a    c    t
    S
    h    e    e    t
www.AmericanSecurityProject.org1100 New York Avenue, NW Suite 710W Washington, DC
Protecting the Homeland
Te Rising Costs of Inaction on Climate Change 
May 2013By Nick Cunningham and Danielle Parillo
Introduction
Climate change is real and is occurring today; societies around the world are eeling theeects.o avoid the worst eects o climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions must besignicantly cut in the coming years.Even i all carbon emissions could be eliminated immediately, we would continue toexperience changes in the Earth’s climate over the next several decades. Tis is due to a lag eect – the climate will continue to change in the coming years because o emissions overprevious decades.Te United States is already experiencing the damaging eects o climate change.Floods, droughts, hurricanes, and wildres have grown more requent and powerul inrecent years. Te alarming rate o natural disasters poses risks to inrastructure, military preparedness, and human lie.Te destruction o these events have also directly led to steadily increasing costs to U.S.taxpayers, as the ederal government pays out record levels in disaster relie each year.
Tis act sheet lays out some o the trends in climate events over the last tento teen years, demonstrating rising threats within the United States.Becoming resilient to these irreversible efects is thereore a national security imperative.
 
2
 AMERICAN SECURITY PROJECT
Rising emperatures
Te surge in greenhouse gas emissions since the dawn o the industrial revolution has led to a rise in globaltemperatures.
•
 Average global temperatures have increased 1.33
o
F over the past century.
1
Tis is happening in the U.S. as well, at alarming rates. Since 1901, global temperatures have beenrising at .13˚F per decade. However, since 1970 temperatures have been rising between .31˚F and.45˚F per decade.
2
•
Te top ten hottest years on record, dating back to 1880, have all occurred since 1998.
3
•
 While surace temperature risehas slowed in the past 15 years,the evidence shows that thisis not representative o globaltemperature rise – which in-clude ocean temperatures.Oceans are warming at a muchaster pace, and taken together,global average temperaturescontinue on an upward trend.
4
•
By 2100, average global tem-peratures are projected to riseby 4˚F to 11.5˚F.
5
Extremes: Te Efects o Climate Change
Climate change is expected to produce more extreme weather o all sorts.
•
Climate change will aect dierent placesin dierent ways. While certain areas o theUnited States will become drier – such as theSouthwest – other regions will suer rommore severe rain storms.
•
Tis is due to rising average global tempera-tures. As temperatures rise, more water evap-orates. More moisture in the atmosphere in-creases the likelihood o intense storms.
6
•
 With more intense precipitation expectedrom climate change, scientists project a corre-sponding increase in the severity and requen-cy o fooding events.
7
 
3
•
Climate change also leads to sea level rise. Some estimates expect sea levels to rise between 20 and 39inches by the end o the century.
8
•
Higher sea levels will contribute to greater storm surges, which magniy the fooding eects o severestorms on coastal communities.
•
Tese eects on extreme weather are already underway. From 1958-2010 the Northeast experienced a 74% increase in the amount o precipitation that has allen in heavy rainall events.
9
•
From 2000-2009, the United States experienced 19 hurricanes, compared to only 14 hurricanes inthe 1990’s.
10
•
Extreme precipitation levels have been linked with an increase in cases o waterborne diseases.
11
Droughts
Climate change is expected to cause a greater requency o droughts
•
Since 2000, the United States experienced 9 droughts that caused over $1 bil-lion in damage. Conversely, there were only 8 in the previous two decades combined.
12
(All dollar values are adjusted or infation).
•
Te ederal government pays out indem-nities to armers with crop insurance. Tecost o indemnities has surged in the pastdecade. More severe drought, particularly in 2012, has steadily increased govern-ment expenditures.
13
 
•
Climate scientists project that higherglobal temperatures and altered precipita-tion will lead to an increase in requency and duration o severe droughts in the u-ture, particularly in the Great Plains andSouthwest regions o the United States.
14
 
 Wildres
Rising temperatures, more severe droughts, and less precipitation will increase the risk o wildres, making them more requent and more intense.
•
Prolonged seasons o drought and higher temperatures leave orests more prone to wildres.
15
•
Higher temperatures and reduced precipitation will threaten orests across the country.
16

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->