Tags: Global Warming | What if Global Warming Continues | Climate Change | Heartland | Rising Sea Levels

What If Global Warming Continues? 7 Most Dire Scenarios For America's Heartland

By    |   Monday, 09 Feb 2015 10:29 AM

If global warming continues, the rise in temperature will significantly affect America's heartland. From disruption of the agricultural economy including labor force reductions to extreme weather events, continued climate change is predicted to have a substantial negative impact on the Midwest.

Here are seven dire scenarios for America's heartland if global warming continues:

1. Risky Business released a 2015 report on the impact of climate change on Midwest agriculture and other industries. Without a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, "overall crop yields will likely decline, potentially shifting growing patterns for major commodity crops to the north and putting individual farming communities at risk."

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2. Another major finding in the Risky Business report predicts dangerous levels of extreme heat across the Midwest. "By the end of this century, the average Missouri resident is likely to experience 46 to 115 days above 95°F in a typical year — about as many extremely hot days as the average Arizonan experiences each year in recent decades."

3. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points to increased risk of disease in America's heartland if global warming continues. "Ticks and mosquitoes are already a nuisance in the Midwest, but will survive in greater numbers as winters become milder. This will increase the risks of spreading diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus."

4. The EPA has also addressed global warming's negative impact on air quality and its correlation to increased health risks. "Some areas close to Chicago and St. Louis do not currently meet air quality standards for ground-level ozone, an air pollutant that can damage lung tissue when inhaled. Ozone forms in hot, sunny, and stagnant conditions. More frequent and intense heat waves are likely to increase ozone formation. This will make it more challenging to meet air quality standards and will increase the risks of health effects in these areas."

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5. The 2014 National Climate Assessment report indicates there will be a significant amplification of existing climate-related risks for America's heartland if global temperatures continue to rise. The report cites everything from heat stress and increased flooding to unseasonable freezes, increased pestilence and atmospheric pollutants.

6. The National Climate Assessment report also states, "Climate change will exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes, including changes in the range and distribution of certain fish species, increased invasive species and harmful blooms of algae, and declining beach health."

7. The Union for Concerned Scientists projects continued climate change would cause extreme rainfall events with dire consequences for the Midwest. "Extreme precipitation can damage homes, businesses, public infrastructure, and ecosystems, as well as disrupt economic activity. Heavy precipitation that leads to flooding can damage crops and cause soil erosion, contaminate the water supply, promote infectious disease, disrupt transportation, and lead to property damage or loss."

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If global warming continues, the rise in temperature will significantly affect America's heartland. From disruption of the agricultural economy including labor force reductions to extreme weather events, continued climate change is predicted to have a substantial negative impact on the Midwest.
What if Global Warming Continues, Climate Change, Heartland, Rising Sea Levels
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2015-29-09
Monday, 09 Feb 2015 10:29 AM
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