Over the next few months, senators and other major state political figures will be taking sides on the climate and clean energy bill in front of Congress. Thanks to the new landmark 13-agency report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, we now know how those state “leaders” who oppose action will be remembered if they succeed.
I will start with Mississippi because Governor and former dirty-energy lobbyist Haley Barbour is helping to lead the GOP charge to destroy a livable climate at a hearing Tuesday — and because one of the main reasons I wrote Hell and High Water and started this blog is that my brother lost his Pass Christian, Mississippi home to Hurricane Katrina [see "The Storm of the Century (so far)"].
The grim figure above — along with an extended excerpt on Southeast climate impacts from the NOAA-led report — can be found here. The map on he right shows that in the IPCC’s A2 scenario, by 2090, most of Mississippi would see some 150 days with peak temperature above 90°F every year — an almost nonstop heat wave that starts in May goes through June, July, and August, not ending until late September! Further, much of the state would see temperatures above 98°F for more than two months a year (see “When can we expect extremely high surface temperatures?“).
Worse, we are on pace to exceed the A2 scenario (which is “only” about 850 ppm in 2100): See U.S. media largely ignores latest warning from climate scientists: “Recent observations confirm “¦ the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realised” “” 1000 ppm. So if if we listen to deniers and delayers like Barbour, the impacts will be worse than the report projects. Barbour will have turned Mississippi into Mexico.
Along with this heat will come much more severe droughts, an impact that has already begun throughout the region: