Saturday, August 23, 2008

Experts sound global warming alarm at U.S. Senate session in Rhode Island

Woonsocket Call (Rhode Island): ….Witnesses testifying Thursday at a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said effects of the controversial environmental phenomenon [global warming] are being felt right now in Rhode Island and particularly in Narragansett Bay.

…“We know for certain that Narragansett Bay is warmer on average and at the extremes than at any other time in recorded history,” said John Torgan, Narragansett Baykeeper for the environmental group Save the Bay. “Over the past 30 years, the average mean temperature of the bay has gone up two degrees Fahrenheit; the average winter temperature has increased four degrees.”

That may seem like a small hike, Torgan said, but “warmer temperatures have caused dramatic changes at many levels and most have a distinctly negative environmental and economic impact. “The bay's animal and plant communities are fundamentally shifting; critical habitats are threatened; environmental quality and even public health and human life and property are jeopardized.”

....“Climate change doesn't just affect coastal communities,” warned Caroly Shumway, director of conservation science for the Rhode Island chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Shumway said people would “react more strongly to climate change if it had a face, was considered immoral and was understood as a present danger with local impact.”...

This photo was taken by Geoking66. The caption is: The rocky shoreline of Newport, Rhode Island showing a clear line where high tide occurs. Narraganset Bay, which eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean, is seen in the background.


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