Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Moments ago, the White House released a detailed scientific report forecasting devastating impacts of global warming in the United States if we don't take dramatic steps now to cut our global warming emissions.
The report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, breaks down climate impacts region-by-region
The Northeast:
Hartford and Philadelphia could average 30 days of 100+ temperatures per year while Boston could see more than 20 100-degree days per year;
Native maple, beech, birch, spruce and fir forests could be almost entirely lost;
The climate of New Hampshire could resemble the climate of North Carolina.
The Southeast:
Much of Florida and southeast Texas could see more than 180 days in the 90s per year while other southeastern states could see more than 100 90-degree days per year;
Spring and summer drought has already increased by 12 percent and 14 respectively over the last 30 years. The frequency, intensity and duration of droughts in the region are likely to increase;
Sea level rise and stronger storm surges could inundate and ultimately flood coastal communities along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The Midwest:
The climate of Michigan could resemble the climate of Oklahoma and the climate of Illinois could resemble the climate of Texas;
Deadly heat waves like the one that killed more than 700 people in Chicago in 1995, will become more frequent. Under higher emission scenarios, Chicago could experience up to three such heat waves every year;
Higher emissions scenarios would cause a water level drop of 1-2 feet in the Great Lakes, threatening shipping, infrastructure, beaches and ecosystems.
The Great Plains:
Hotter, drier summers will threaten the already overused High Plains aquifer, which irrigates 13 million acres and provides water to 80% of the people in the region;
Increased temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels will threaten farming activities with more drought, pest infestations, and faster weed growth;
Under higher emission scenarios, North and South Dakota, which currently see only a handful of 100-degree days, could see 50 or more days of 100+ temperatures per year.
The Southwest:
Under higher emission scenarios, the southern half of Arizona, southeastern California and Las Vegas could see more than 120 days with 100+ temperatures;
Most of the region could see precipitation levels decline by more than 40%, pushing already water-strained areas over the edge;
Southwestern forests will be decimated with less water, more wildfires and more invasive pests. Under higher emissions scenarios, California's mountain forests could decline by 60-90%.
The Northwest:
Mountain snowpack runoff, critical water needs, could run 20-40 days earlier, threatening water resources in summer months;
Declining summer streamflows and warmer water temperatures could push salmon and other cold water fish species, already stressed by human activities, over the brink;
100-degree days are rare today in the Northwest. Under higher emission scenarios, much of the region could see 30-40 days of 110+ temperatures per year.
Without action, this is the future that awaits our children. We can't let it happen.
The good news? The U.S. House could vote on a landmark energy and global warming bill as soon as next week. We're doing everything we can to pass this bill and keep the pressure on the Senate to move a bill of its own.
Here are three things you can do now to help:
Take action to urge passage of the bill in the House.
Forward this email to all your friends and family.
Share facts about your region on Facebook or Twitter. Please include a link to our action alert:
Thanks for all you do,Environmental Defense Fund
P.S. In addition to the human toll, this report reinforces the dire threat American wildlife face in a warming world. Go to our Warming and Wildlife campaign to meet and see seven "ambassador" species that face a bleak future in a warmer world

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