Report of the United States Global Change Research Program
This is a multi agency government report. It includes NASA, NOAA, EPA, NSF and the Depts of Energy, Interior, Defense, Agriculture, amongst many others as well as the Office of the President.
It summarizes the effects of AGW in a form that anyone can understand. It is essential reading if you want a detailed projection of what is coming down the pike for the United States in terms of Global Warming, but written on a very direct and easy to understand level. All of the pertinent research and journal papers are cited for those interested in digging deeper and checking out the science itself. The contents of the report are shocking.
Here is the full report:
Here are the key findings for the chapter on the basic science of AGW globally:
Human activities have led to large increases in heat-trapping gases over the past century.
Global average temperature and sea level have increased, and precipitation patterns have changed.
The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human “fingerprints” also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice.
Global temperatures are projected to continue to rise over this century; by how much and for how long depends on a number of factors, including the amount of heat-trapping gas emissions and how sensitive the climate is to those emissions.
Here are the key findings from the chapter about AGW affecting the US as a whole There are also very specific regional breakdowns in other sections of the report.
U.S. average temperature has risen more than 2°F over the past 50 years and is projected to rise more in the future; how much more depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally and how sensitive the climate is to those emissions.
Precipitation has increased an average of about 5 percent over the past 50 years. Projections of future precipitation generally indicate that northern areas will become wetter, and southern areas, particularly in the West, will become drier.
The amount of rain falling in the heaviest downpours has increased approximately 20 percent on average in the past century, and this trend is very likely to continue, with the largest increases in the wettest places.
Many types of extreme weather events, such as heat waves and regional droughts, have become more frequent and intense during the past 40 to 50 years.
The destructive energy of Atlantic hurricanes has increased in recent decades. The intensity of these storms is likely to increase in this century.
In the eastern Pacific, the strongest hurricanes have become stronger since the 1980s, even while the total number of storms has decreased.
Sea level has risen along most of the U.S. coast over the past 50 years, and will rise more in the future.
Cold-season storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are likely to become stronger and more frequent.
Arctic sea ice is declining rapidly and this is very likely to continue.
The actual report itself is quite detailed and vastly less political than the statements of the key findings. The language of the key findings is surprisingly softened compared to the material in the report itself. However, the key findings are bad enough. For instance, there is a great deal of discussion about the loss of crops in the United States by sector and an estimate in the trillions of dollars of projected coastal property loss.
Here are the key findings of the report posted on the overall key findings page:
1. Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
Global temperature has increased over the past 50 years. This observed increase is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. (p. 13)
2. Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.
Climate-related changes are already observed in the United States and its coastal waters. These include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. These changes are projected to grow. (p. 27)
3. Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase.
Climate changes are already affecting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and health. These impacts are different from region to region and will grow under projected climate change. (p. 41-106, 107-152)
4. Climate change will stress water resources.
Water is an issue in every region, but the nature of the potential impacts varies. Drought, related to reduced precipitation, increased evaporation, and increased water loss from plants, is an important issue in many regions, especially in the West. Floods and water quality problems are likely to be amplified by climate change in most regions. Declines in mountain snowpack are important in the West and Alaska where snowpack provides vital natural water storage. (p. 41, 129, 135, 139)
5. Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged.
Agriculture is considered one of the sectors most adaptable to changes in climate. However, increased heat, pests, water stress, diseases, and weather extremes will pose adaptation challenges for crop and livestock production. (p. 71) [Ed. Note]In fact, they will be decimated. Reading the source papers for this section will tell you so.
6. Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise and storm surge.
Sea-level rise and storm surge place many U.S. coastal areas at increasing risk of erosion and flooding, especially along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Pacific Islands, and parts of Alaska. Energy and transportation infrastructure and other property in coastal areas are very likely to be adversely affected. (p. 111, 139, 145, 149) [Ed note] provided that adversely affect is understood to mean large portions of many of these areas being under water.
7. Threats to human health will increase.
Health impacts of climate change are related to heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents. Robust public health infrastructure can reduce the potential for negative impacts. (p. 89) [Ed. Note] This report predicts 60 days out of the year to be above 100 degrees F by 2100, in Boston.
8. Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses.
Climate change will combine with pollution, population growth, overuse of resources, urbanization, and other social, economic, and environmental stresses to create larger impacts than from any of these factors alone. (p. 99)
9. Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems.
There are a variety of thresholds in the climate system and ecosystems. These thresholds determine, for example, the presence of sea ice and permafrost, and the survival of species, from fish to insect pests, with implications for society. With further climate change, the crossing of additional thresholds is expected. (p. 76, 82, 115, 137, 142) [Ed. note] Tipping points are real and the effects of crossing them are catastrophic. Some of those catastrophic effects are listed in this report in some detail.
10. Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today.
The amount and rate of future climate change depend primarily on current and future human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases and airborne particles. Responses involve reducing emissions to limit future warming, and adapting to the changes that are unavoidable. (p. 25, 29)