They say bad things come in 3s. You can choose to look at the three new scientific reports out this week as series of bad things--they all underscore the need for the world to take bold, swift and brave action to avoid the worst effects of climate change; or you can choose to view these new studies as three more bricks to use to build a global consensus for action.
Here's what came out this week:
- The IPCC’s SREX report shows links between climate change and extreme weather, proposing policy changes to avoid such disasters (PDF).
- Oxford University research revealed this week that global temperatures could rise by as much as 5.4 F by 2050 (PDF).
- The Potsdam Institute for Climate Research directly links recent extreme weather events with climate change (PDF).
These reports come out in the wake of recent extreme weather in North America. Reports show that February 2012 was the second warmest February in New York on record. And if you think this new normal doesn't have consequences just look around. Here's two quick examples:
- Groesbeck, TX: The city of Groesbeck almost ran out of water completely in November 2011. The city had to spend $250,000 to pipe water from a quarry to keep the city running.
- Memphis, TN: Flooding has caused over $750 million in economic damage to the region.