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Why is climate change a concern?

All across the world and in our state, people are taking action because climate change has serious impacts, locally and globally. For example, in 2007, scientists from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that warming oceans and melting glaciers due to global warming and climate change could cause sea levels to rise 7-23 inches by the year 2100. Worldwide, densely populated coastal communities and infrastructure that supports them would be affected (such as city buildings and homes, roads, ports and wastewater treatment plants). Some would be flooded or more vulnerable to storm damage. In flat terrain, the shoreline could move many miles inland.

Other effects are also serious. In some places, floods and/or drought could become more frequent and more severe. Even seemingly less dramatic local changes in temperature, precipitation and soil moisture could severely impact many things important to human life and all life around us, including:

· natural ecosystems

· agriculture and food supplies

· human health

· forestry

· water resources and availability

· energy use

· transportation

Many people are concerned that we are losing time to make a difference. Climate change and its effects may be irreversible. (Link to NOAA study 2009?) Life could become very difficult for some populations—plant, animal and human. Species, cultures, resources and many lives could be lost.

For more about how climate change could affect our state, click these links:

· Climate Change Effects in Washington State

· Issue Up Close: Facing the Challenge of Climate Change

References:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policy Makers; 2007


Date: 2015-04-20; view: 268


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