Global Warming Brings Big Changes to ...

Global Warming Brings Big Changes to Deep South

There are 3 comments on the Hispanic Business story from Nov 13, 2013, titled Global Warming Brings Big Changes to Deep South. In it, Hispanic Business reports that:

Nov. 13--Poisoned seafood, scorched forests, flooded homes and crumbling bridges are just some of the problems the Southeast can expect as the earth's climate changes and temperatures heat up in future decades, according to a study released Tuesday.

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Houston, TX

#1 Nov 13, 2013
Nov. 13--Poisoned seafood, scorched forests, flooded homes and crumbling bridges are just some of the problems the Southeast can expect as the earth's climate changes and temperatures heat up in future decades, according to a study released Tuesday.

The 341-page report, based on the expertise of more than 100 scientists and researchers, is considered the most comprehensive study to date of how global warming is affecting the South -- and what Southerners can expect.

By mid-century, Columbia and most of South Carolina can expect more days above 95 degrees in the summer. Across the Southeast, heat waves are projected to be more frequent, with the number of consecutive days exceeding 95 degrees rising by anywhere from 97 percent to more than 200 percent.

Overall, average annual temperatures in the region could rise by up to nine degrees this century, with summer temperatures increasing by more than 10 degrees, the study said.

Research shows that average temperatures already have risen 2 degrees in the region during the past 40 years, with temperatures the warmest on record between 2000 and 2010.

Since the rise of industrialization more than a century ago, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from man-made activities have built up in the atmosphere and trapped heat, which has increased worldwide temperatures. That, in turn, is contributing to an array of problems, from rising seas to drier weather.

Unsafe seafood is one global warming threat people should pay attention to, researchers said.

The study said a toxin associated with warm oceans and tropical fish has in the past decade been found in South Carolina. This suggests the disease, known as ciguatera, is moving north in association with rising sea surface temperatures, the study said. The disease is tied to the spread of toxic algae blooms.

Oysters and clams also are at risk of contracting diseases related to warmer water temperatures. Researchers say marine pathogens known as vibrio are a threat. Infections associated with vibrio are expanding in Gulf Coast shellfish, which are eaten in South Carolina and other non-gulf states. The trend is tied to the number of days when water temperatures rise above typical levels. Some types of vibrio can cause diarrhea and liver disease.

Other impacts expected by the end of the 21st century, include:

--More wildfires. Higher temperatures are expected to dry out forests, making them more susceptible to catching fire. Wildfires have in recent years presented a notable threat in the Myrtle Beach area, where homes have burned to the ground.

--Worn out roads and wrecked bridges. Hotter conditions are expected to make asphalt heat up and roads to wear down, while rising seas will threaten to wash out bridges in coastal areas.

More devastating hurricanes. The number and intensity of hurricanes is expected to increase as ocean waters get warmer.

--Rising sea levels. The ocean is expected to rise 1-5 feet by the end of the 21st century, making seaside property more vulnerable to storm surges and flooding. The exact rate of sea level rise will depend, in part, on how fast the polar ice sheets melt.

--Toxic algae blooms. At least five different varieties of marine toxins have moved into the region or shifted northward toward the Carolinas. These toxins not only can threaten fish, but some can cause respiratory problems or rashes in people exposed to them.

Dying sea life. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could make the ocean more acidic, which would likely limit the growth of corals, shellfish and crustaceans.

Keith Ingram, a University of Florida researcher and co-author of the study, said: "Over the last couple of years we've started getting more and more questions from farmers about climate change because they see it,'' said Ingram, who studies agriculture at Florida. "We see the same thing in coastal communities, where they see flooding already."[sammyfretwell]

Houston, TX

#2 Nov 14, 2013
]Awww look at the judgeits..] There are many factors that influence our climate change knowledge and attitudes, including education, scientific literacy and personal experience. Political ideology has a significant influence on climate change beliefs. A striking demonstration of the powerful effect of ideology is the finding that as education levels increased, Democrats became more concerned about climate change while Republicans became less concerned. Ideology rather than education is the hand at the wheel driving climate attitudes.[ m]

Lytham, UK

#3 Nov 14, 2013

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