Many cities were built in the West, such as Denver, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, knowing that water was limited there and that these places were not intended to inhabit huge numbers of people. This water crisis is only going to get worse, Kinter explained, especially since this is one of the fastest growing cities in America.
According to an expert from the University of Fairfax in Virginia near Washington, a new report by experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released Monday, indicates that the western United States will be the hardest – outside of Alaska – affected by the effects of climate change.
“Everything west of the Mississippi has been water-poor for centuries. But climate change may mean that the current model for working there will no longer be possible. This applies to everyday life, the ecosystem as well as agriculture,” Kinter says.
In June, during a heat wave, water levels in major reservoirs such as Lake Mead in Arizona fell to unprecedented levels, with a drought of 95%. lands of Western countries.
According to Kinter, drought and water problems are just one of the problems that will only get worse over time, like wildfires and unusually intense heat waves.
“And what we’ve seen in the Northwest this year, where temperature records have been smashed by a few degrees — which is unprecedented — is just the beginning. We are currently seeing a 1.1°C warmer than the pre-industrial era, and on the current trajectory, we’ll reach,” Kinter says. 1.5 degrees in twenty years.
– Both nature and we are able to adapt to high temperatures. But not when the pace of change is too fast, he warns.
The east of the country, especially the coast, will also see changes due to rising sea levels. Although the report predicts that by the end of the century its level will rise by about 60-80 cm, this is enough to theoretically cause the flooding of large areas of the East Coast, especially in Florida, for example.
“Here in Virginia, in Norfolk, we have one of the largest ports and the most important naval military base. All of this infrastructure was built under conditions that existed for decades and did not adapt to these changes,” Kinter says.
According to the expert, there are two main conclusions from the IPCC report: the level of warming will almost certainly exceed 1.5 degrees by 2050 – the limit set by the Paris Accords, and it is too late to stop the changes that will occur in the next 2-3 decades. The world can still reduce the scale of the problems associated with change in the long run. However, for this, rapid and drastic action is needed to first stop the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and then begin to reduce it.
– We pretty much have technology for this. The scientist believes that the issue is mainly about political will and economics.
He added that Europe and Poland are less vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels compared to the United States. However, changes in the so-called Atlantic Saline Thermal Cycle (AMOC), which forms the Gulf Stream, are responsible for Europe’s temperate climate. Recent research by Niklas Bowers of the Potsdam Institute for Research shows this climate impact.
The work of the Boers is certainly disturbing and indicates that the collapse of this system may indeed occur, and as a result of great changes, including the cooling of Europe. However, there are still many unknowns about this. If it really happened, it would be during the lives of our children or grandchildren – assess the climate scientist.
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