Human emissions are changing the climate now — and yet planetary warming has been only about 0.8°C in the past century. So we can barely imagine the harsh changes that will come this century, which is poised to see 5°C warming or more if we don’t act soon.
The impact on local climates, agricultural yields, and in general, our societies has recently been mapped at Science Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress.
Science Progress did a soft launch of the map, The Human Toll of Climate Change, in October. Since then, it has built a growing inventory of the scientific data that is putting climate change consequences literally on the map.
The map is interactive, meaning scientists around the world can add their data and findings (entries are moderated, so the research must be credible).
So far, the map of the U.S. shows:
- The Midwest and Great Plains can expect severe spring flooding and summer droughts, decreasing crop yields in the American breadbasket.
- Stronger storms and hurricanes in the Southeast will test the resilience of homes and infrastructure.
- Disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks will thrive in the warmer temperatures of the Northeast.
- Drier conditions in the West will significantly increase the risk of wildfires.
- Alaska is threatened by landslides and sinking land levels as arctic permafrost melts.
The map is a collective resource for scientists, reporters, and general audiences and has the potential to be a one-stop shop for the most up-to-date information.
On the other hand, it’s a pretty grim collection of how anthropogenic climate change is turning around to change more than just air molecules.
- What are the near-term climate Pearl Harbors?
- Is 450 ppm politically possible? Part 0: The alternative is humanity’s self-destruction
- Sorry, delayers & enablers, Part 2: Climate change means worse droughts for SW and world
- Even conservative San Diego Union knows climate change is killing Western forests
- Wildfire Season Smashes Records — and the Media Keeps Blowing the Story
- Nature: Hurricanes ARE getting fiercer — and it’s going to get much worse