Unit 6: What is predicted to happen where I live?
Global change is difficult to comprehend. We see photos of polar bears or hear about flooding in Asia or fires in Russia. But climate change is happening in our backyards, whether we know it or not.
- Understand local and regional climate dynamics and how human-caused climate change will likely interact with natural variability.
- Recognize the range of social and environmental impacts of climate change on local ecosystems and communities.
- Become familiar with local and regional strategies to prepare for climate change.
This unit relates most closely with Climate Literacy Principle 7: Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives. Also see Teaching About Principle 7 from CLEAN.
Regional Climate Change Impacts
Solutions Session: water resource management
Dr Joe Barsugli reveals the impacts on water in a warming climate. Joe Barsugli is a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Joe Barsugii – NOAA/CIRES Western Water Assessment [PowerPoint]
Most people understand that significant climate changes are predicted in the next century, but they may not be aware that these changes will vary regionally. Using climatological data from the University of New Hampshire's EOS-WEBSTER, users will obtain annual predictions for minimum temperature, maximum temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation for Minnesota and California to explore this regional variability.
Another excellent resource to learn about regional climate change is the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Regional Climate Change website, which is based on a 2009 report that found:
1. Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
2. Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.
3. Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase.
4. Climate change will stress water resources.
5. Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged.
6. Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise and storm surge.
7. Threats to human health will increase.
8. Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses.
9. Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems.
10. Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today.
Just for Fun
Video: Prince Rainforest Project