Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ex-wildlife chief warns of climate change in South Carolina

Sammy Fretwell in the State (South Carolina): Following revelations the state wildlife department has failed to release a major climate change report, the agency’s former chief said the department should be leading efforts to brace South Carolina for the consequences of global warming.

John Frampton, who left the Department of Natural Resources last year, said that the Earth’s rising temperatures will undoubtedly affect the state’s landscape and wildlife in coming years and that the DNR is well qualified to examine the impacts in South Carolina. “I would liked to have seen the DNR be a leader,” Frampton said this week. “I would have liked to have positioned our staff ... on this. We have experts in the agency” to assess climate change.

His comments came days after The State newspaper reported that a team of DNR scientists had voiced serious concerns about climate change in South Carolina, although their report has been under wraps since Frampton announced he was leaving the agency in late 2011.

DNR officials say that their priorities have changed and that there is less urgency to release the study, which they say needs some revision. Frampton championed the study and recommended its release in late 2011. The Nov. 18, 2011, draft says it was ready for release. In the 102-page report obtained recently by the newspaper, scientists recommend increasing public awareness about climate change, while continuing to study the impacts of global warming in South Carolina.

...The climate report lists potentially substantial threats to South Carolina — ranging from the invasion of exotic eels and piranha to flooding of seaside homes and destruction of ecologically valuable marshes if temperatures continue to rise.

But the study also notes that man-made pollution sources have contributed to global warming. That point is widely accepted by scientists but attacked by politicians concerned about new regulations for industry...

A cypress garden in Monck's Corner, South Carolina, shot by Brian Stansberry, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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