Global Warming For Dummies - EPA Releases New Climate Change Indicators Report

EPA climate change indicators report image
all images: EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency has just launched a new Climate Change Indicators in the United States report (and slideshow) that really breaks down the science and effects of global warming. Not quite sure it will convince anyone who has already been convinced by the plethora of information, both scientific and popular, already released, but it is a very clear overview of the situation. Here are some interesting highlights to commit to memory:global greenhouse gas emissions 1990-2005 chart

As you can see from this chart, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions have increased 26% from 1990 to 2005. Carbon dioxide emissions, responsible for 75% of total emissions, increasing 31%. In the United States emissions have increased 14% from 1990 to 2008--so when you hear some politician proposed reducing emissions 17% from a 2005 baseline, know that compared to the internationally used and more rigorous 1990 baseline, it's not really much of a reduction at all.

US temperature change 20th century chart
US precipitation change 20th century chart

Over the past century both precipitation and temperatures have largely increased across the nation, with precipitation increasing on average by 6% for the lower 48 states. Worldwide precipitation has increased 2%. In fact, in the US incidents of heavy precipitation are increasing, with 8 of the top 10 years for one-day extreme precipitation occurring since 1990. Additionally, in the same time period, six of the top ten most intense hurricane seasons have occurred.

arctic sea ice chart loss

This image sort of speaks for itself. The extent of Arctic sea ice last year was 24% below the average from 1979-2000.

muir glacier retreat image

As does this one... But it's not just glaciers be affected by warmer temps. On average the length of time lakes stay from in winter has declined one to two days per decade over the past century, as has average snow cover (though the EPA acknowledges there has been much year-to-year variability with snow, as the image below indicates). The take away: It really was snowier and colder when you parents were walking to school (if not uphill both ways).

april snowpack western US change chart
plant hardiness zone changes US chart

This one's pretty telling... You can see Zone 10 areas creeping northward over the past two decades or so, and Zone 3 areas nearly vanishing entirely from the lower 48 states.

Check out the full report and share with friends: Climate Change Indicators in the United States [PDF]

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More on Global Climate Change:
We Believe Global Warming is Happening, Just Not Necessarily To Us
Climate Change Will Cost US States Billions of Dollars
Hey Southeast US! Here's Where Climate Change is Really Going to Hurt

Tags: EPA | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | United States


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