Photo Courtesy of DOE/NREL, View of earth from space
The overwhelming majority of the world’s top climate scientists agree that human-caused pollution is leading to a dangerous concentration of greenhouse gases which is changing the earth’s climate. Climate change is already underway and the window for humanity to reverse course is rapidly shrinking. Scientists point to evidence all around us, and particularly to increasing dramatic weather calamities such as floods and droughts, fires and blizzards. 2010 was the hottest year ever recorded.
Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels have risen far above their pre-industrial levels. Already, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at about 385 parts per million, compared to the pre-industrial level of about 200 parts per million. James Hansen, a climate scientist from NASA and the first to warn of global warming more than 20 years ago, recently warned that to preserve a planet similar to the one we now inhabit, CO2 will need to be reduced to 350 parts per million.
Colorado is expected to become warmer and drier as climate change intensifies, and the effects are already becoming evident, climate scientists say. Shorter winters and longer, drier summers are expected to lead to more severe forest fire seasons and decreased ski seasons. With water from the state’s rivers already fully claimed, experts warn that water conservation will grow increasingly imperative.
Below are some links to help you get started on understanding climate change issues and their likely impact on Colorado:
Photo Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Dramatic clouds in the southeast Denver suburbs
CLIMATE CHANGE IN COLORADO:
Climate Change and Colorado’s Future - (http://learnmoreaboutclimate.colorado.edu/)
Greenhouse Gas Reporting in Colorado - (http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/climate)
Snowfall and Climate Change in the Colorado River Headwaters - (http://www2.ucar.edu/staffnotes/research/3930/snowfall-and-climate-change-colorado-river-headwaters)
Colorado Climate Project and affiliated efforts:
The Western Water Assesment Climate Change Report:
Organizations and blogs:
Pew Center on Global Climate Change - (http://www.pewclimate.org)
Environmental Protection Agency Climate Page - (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/index.html)
Climate Progress - (http://www.climateprogress.org)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - (http://www.ipcc.ch)
Repower America - (http://www.repoweramerica.org)