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Global warming

Global Warming to Hammer U.S. Northeast with Radical Weather, Warn Scientists

Saturday, December 15, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: global warming, health news, Natural News


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(NewsTarget) A recent report has enumerated the catastrophic changes that the northeastern United States can expect due to global warming, particularly if local and global greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed.

The report, "Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast," was a joint project of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 50 scientists and economists. It looks at the likely outcomes of two different climate change scenarios, one assuming a continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the other assuming significantly lower emissions due to a shift to cleaner energy sources.

The high-emissions scenario predicts an 8- to 12-degree Fahrenheit increase in winter temperatures and a 6- to 14-degree increase in summer temperatures, while the lower-emissions scenario predicts increases of 5 to 8 and 3 to 7 degrees, respectively. The global sea level is expected to rise 10 to 23 inches under the high-emissions scenario, and 7 to 14 under the lower one. By 2100, these increases will lead to New York City experiencing what are currently once-a-century floods every 10 years under the high-emissions scenario and twice a decade under the lower scenario.

But in some measures, even lower emissions will make little difference. Coastal cities such as Boston are expected to experience formerly once-a-century floods once every two to four years by 2050 and once a year by 2100 under either scenario. Warming ocean temperatures will drive many fish and shellfish species north, leading to the disappearance of cod and lobster south of Cape Cod before 2100.

The report concludes that while the Northeast has limited ability to reduce global emissions, a reduction of regional emissions to 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050 would be enough to bring emissions onto the level of the lower-emissions scenario used in the study.

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