Saturday, July 17, 2010

Study quantifies potential impacts of climate change

Bruce Finley in the Denver Post: A new National Academy of Sciences study quantifies potential impacts of climate change — linking reduced streamflow, rainfall and crop yields, and more wildfire damage to specific temperature increases. For example, for every 1.8 degrees of warming, Colorado can expect 5 percent to 10 percent less water in the Arkansas River and Rio Grande, the government-funded study found.

The Colorado River Basin, which sustains people in seven western states, likely would see 6 percent less water for every 1.8-degree increase. Wildfires would devour three times as much land, the study found. And rainfall in Colorado and other southwestern sates would decrease by 5 percent to 10 percent.

The study represents the nation's most comprehensive recent effort to pull together a growing body of scientific data on climate change — and to look beyond how warming may be happening to anticipate specific impacts depending on future temperatures. It focuses on impacts in the United States, Australia and the Mediterranean region….

It dawned on me that I could show this picture of the Grand Canyon, shot by Tobias Alt, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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