Climate Change: Part II – world effects

climatechangePart II– How does Climate Change Affect the World?

Provided by the Fort Independence Environmental Climate Change Working Group

Chair: Dennis Mattinson

1. How can a change of one or two degrees in global average temperatures have an impact on our lives? 

Changing the average global temperature by even a degree or two can lead to serious consequences around the globe. For about every 2°F of warming, we can expect to see:

5—15% reductions in the yields of crops as currently grown

3—10% increases in the amount of rain falling during the heaviest precipitation events, which can increase flooding risks

5—10% decreases in stream flow in some river basins, including the Arkansas and the Rio Grande

200%—400% increases in the area burned by wildfire in parts of the western United States [6]

Global average temperatures have increased more than 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 100 years. [2] Many of the extreme precipitation and heat events that we have seen in recent years are consistent with what we would expect given this amount of warming. [5] Scientists project that Earth’s average temperatures will rise between 2 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. [1]

2. Do emissions of carbon dioxide from human activities have a big impact on Earth’s climate?

Plants, oceans, and soils release and absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide as a part of the Earth’s natural carbon cycle. These natural emissions and absorptions of carbon dioxide on average balance out over time. However, the carbon dioxide from human activities is not part of this natural balance. Ice core measurements reveal that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher than they have been for at least 800,000 years. [5] The global warming that has been observed in recent decades was caused by elevated levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, due primarily to human activities. [1]

3. Will a small rise in sea level affect people (even in the United States)?

A small rise in sea level will affect many people, even in the United States. The amount of sea level rise expected to occur as a result of climate change will increase the risk of coastal flooding for millions to hundreds of millions of people around the world, many of whom would have to permanently leave their homes. [7] Global sea level has risen approximately 9 inches, on average, in the last 140 years. [4] This has already put some coastal homes, beaches, roads, bridges, and wildlife at risk. [5] By the year 2100, sea level is expected to rise another 1.5 to 3 feet. [6] Rising seas will make coastal storms and the associated storm surges more frequent and destructive. For example, in New York City what is currently termed a once-in-a-century coastal flooding event could occur as frequently as once per decade. [5]


  1. NRC (2011). America’s Climate Choices: Final Report.   National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.
  2. NRC (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Change.   National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.
  3. NOAA (2011). 2010 Tied For Warmest Year on Record. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed 3/16/2012.
  4. EPA (2010). Climate Change Indicators in the United States. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA.
  5. USGCRP (2009). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Thomas R. Karl, Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson (eds.). United States Global Change Research Program. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA.
  6. NRC (2011). Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia. National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.
  7. IPCC (2007). Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report.  Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Pachauri, R.K. and A. Reisinger (eds.)]. Geneva, Switzerland.


4.  What are the effects of Climate Change on world life?

Life on Earth is profoundly affected by the planet’s climate. Animals, plants, and other living beings around the globe are moving, adapting, and, in some cases, dying as a direct or indirect result of environmental shifts associated with our changing climate—disrupting intricate interactions among Earth’s species, with profound implications for the natural systems on which humans depend. Climate change is happening on a global scale, but the ecological impacts are often local. – (COMMITTEE ON ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE)-






















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15 Responses to Climate Change: Part II – world effects

  1. Ken Warner June 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    I remember the prevalent attitude not too long ago was to deny Rapid Global Climate Change with vehement and hostile skepticism. And not too long ago on this blog, there was sneering dismissal of any discussion or concern about it.


    • tim June 22, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
      A Schopenhauer

      • Mark June 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

        I’ve accepted as being self-evident.

        I’m at stage 4: I don’t care

        • Ken Warner June 23, 2013 at 9:01 am #

          Yeah, why care now when in 10 to 20 years you’ll have to suffer through it anyway. Just relax and enjoy the good old days while they still last.

        • J-Frog June 24, 2013 at 7:38 am #

          Sure Mark! just dismiss it, and show your appreciation to all that is beautiful with this earth by way of destructing it and doing nothing about a obvious problem. You seem like a real benefit to have around!

          • Mark June 24, 2013 at 8:45 am #

            J-Frog so you must be for saving the yellow legged frog and the removal the invasive trout?

    • How to talk to neocons about climate change June 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      5 Ways To Talk About Climate Change With Conservative Republicans:

      1. Climate change is real and it’s happening now. It’s happening all over the world and the poorest people are the ones who are suffering the most. If Conservatives, especially those of the religious persuasion, truly care for their neighbors, climate change should be high on their list of priorities.

      2. There are many causes that Conservatives can support, but caring for the environment envelops three of the key foundational tenants of this movement: trans-generational loyalty, the need for home, and the priority of local economy.

      3. Even though most Conservatives believe in God as the omnipotent designer of the Earth, it is important to note that as humans, we have the power to make our own choices. Believing in climate change isn’t an insult to God, it’s an acknowledgment of responsibility!

      4. By replacing our energy sources with clean energy, we can reduce the human impact of climate change and therefore reduce the burden on the environment. Being good stewards of the Earth is a motto taught in Sunday School, and it doesn’t end when you walk out the doors of the church.

      5. And finally, teach your friends and family about conserving the environment. Start small with your children, capitalizing on their curiosity about the world around them. Moms Clean Air Force provides all the important resources to help you arm yourself with the facts and teach your family to stand up to skeptics and climate change deniers!

      • J-Frog June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am #


        Well I am for protecting all living beings, but I can’t say I am all for the USFS Best Management Practices or any other entity that can’t even return a phone call. Some do good and we should embrace those good doings, but like all gov’t entity’s they forget they work for the people and specific purposes, it seems they have become entitled to their job because it’s gov’t funded.
        Why I am even wasting my time answering your question when you have already established “I don’t care”, so then you need to get the HECK out of the way of those who do!
        Actually better yet keep commenting so you can be a example of what not to be or do..

        • General - Lizing June 26, 2013 at 11:17 am #

          “…like all gov’t entity’s they forget they work for the people and specific purposes, it seems they have become entitled to their job because it’s gov’t funded.”

          Now THAT’S quite a broad generalization there, J-Frog

          And this is supposed to accomplish …?

          • J-Frog June 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

            You that bored to pick my comment apart huh?
            It’s my opinion, I don’t believe half of the services we get from tax revenue serve the people, they serve the established powers, and how obvious does it have to be to see that gov’t is bloated with ridiculousness and very little deliverable’s to the people come from so much revenue.
            Another one of my opinions, this should be a slogan for some gov’t entity’s (If your not on the table, your probably on the menu).

  2. tim June 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    What about the cumulative temperature increase over the past 100 years, 1913 to 2013, due to the removal of surface and near surface water in the Owens Valley? Isn’t it true that temperature change varies regionally? For example; removing all of the ground water from the Owens Valley and creating an arid region while piping water to a humid ocean region? Does not LA’s expansion regionally compound this warming due to Urban Heat Island effect because of overexpansion using materials that retain and radiate heat instead of dissipating it with natural earth surfaces?
    Just look at this one instance illustrating how a white roof surface changes a micro climate as opposed to a dark one.
    I think Sothern California is a global warming compound disaster. We take water from one region which raises the temperature and pipe it to another region where our action also raises the temperature.
    Not too COOL.

  3. johnjcampnfish June 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Get ready to pack up and move to LA where the carbon footprint required to sustain human life is much, much less than the one required to live in the beautiful Sierras. And when you get there, prepare to live like the Amish because that’s what it will take for you to make a difference when there are billions of third world people with no other desire than to reach a standard of living like the USA has and that will be a mighty big carbon footprint you can’t stop.

    • Charles O. Jones June 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      Virtually every major human accomplishment has had to overcome similar defeatist attitudes. Such attitudes will always lose in the end.

  4. Chuck June 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    It’s time for people to take notice of what is happening around them. Climate Change is real and is having an adverse effect on our area. Just take a look at the plant life and trees in your neighborhood do they look as healthy as they were last year? The answer is no, because they are not getting enough moisture. We all need to do our part to help our environment before it’s too late.

  5. Steve June 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Now watch this blog heat up faster than you can say “Climate Change”.

    Thank you Sierra Wave


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