How will climate change affect the US?

In summary: The article says "A study published today in the journal Nature provides the strongest evidence yet that climate models are getting future warming projections right."However, the article does not provide any further information about the study or its findings.
  • #1
BillTre
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TL;DR Summary
Several Maps are published about how climate change might play out in the 48 contiguous US states.
Several maps, from ProPublica, showing how climate change may play out as changes in the US.
According to new data from the Rhodium Group analyzed by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, warming temperatures and changing rainfall will drive agriculture and temperate climates northward, while sea level rise will consume coastlines and dangerous levels of humidity will swamp the Mississippi River valley.

Note: Wet bulb, sea level rise, crop yield and economic damage data represent ranges of median probabilities for each county modeled by the Rhodium Group for each climate scenario between 2040 and 2060. Sources: Chi Xu, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University (global human climate niche), Rhodium Group/Climate Impact Lab (wet bulb, heat, crop yields and economic damages), John Abatzoglou, University of California, Merced (very large fires). Noun Project icons by Adrien Coquet, Laymik and ProSymbols

Lessor amounts of similar data can be found in this PNAS publication.

Some of the maps are interactive (different levels of continued emissions).
The maps cover:
  • temperature/humidity based most optimal human niche areas (2070)
  • extreme heat areas (weeks above 95˚ F) (2040-2060)
  • Extreme heat and humidity (2040-2060)
  • Large Wild Fires (2040-2071)
  • Sea Level Rise (2040-2060)
  • Farm Crop Yields (2040-2060)
  • Economic Damage from Climate Change (2040-2060)
Screen Shot 2020-09-19 at 11.53.53 AM.png


There is also a big table summarizing the various data county by county in the US.

Many of the maps seem to be based on counties and therefore some of the mappings of effects are not fine enough grained to satisfy me. For example, the county I live in (Lane county, Oregon), has coastal areas that could be affected by sea level rise, but not where I live (40 miles away and on the inland side of the coastal range). Nevertheless, I find it interesting.
 
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  • #2
Why did they pick those variables and only those variables? Why not, e.g. "deaths from extreme cold"? Perhaps more relevantly, Atlantic hurricanes. Models predict a lower rate, which is exactly what we see. However, it conflicts with the overly-simplistic story of "Hurricanes are from Global Warming!" and indeed identifying of individual hurricanes caused by global warming.

Predicting 50 years out is a tough business. How has the IPCC done thus far? I would give the first report a C or C-. It is possible we're consistent with the extreme lower edge (we keep falling in and out of it; I think we're in at the moment but we could be mistaken). It's probable that we are doing better now, but the argument "Thirty years ago we had trouble with thirty year predictions, but we're doing better now - just you wait and see!" is not very convincing. Had there been a little more humility and less faith in our models then we would be better off now.

Things are very complex, and it's good that they are trying to capture this complexity, but they have a long way to go.
 
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  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
Perhaps more relevantly, Atlantic hurricanes. Models predict a lower rate, which is exactly what we see.

From NOAA page about Global Warming and Hurricanes. An Overview of Current Research Results:
On the other hand, Swanson (2008) and others noted that Atlantic hurricane power dissipation is also well-correlated with other SST indices besides tropical Atlantic SST alone, and in particular with indices of Atlantic SST relative to tropical mean SST (e.g., Figure 1b from Vecchi et al. 2008). This is in fact a crucial distinction, because while the statistical relationship between Atlantic hurricanes and local Atlantic SST shown in the upper panel of Figure 1 would imply a very large increases in Atlantic hurricane activity (PDI) due to 21st century greenhouse warming, the alternative statistical relationship between the PDI and the relative SST measure shown in the lower panel of Figure 1 would imply only modest future long-term trends of Atlantic hurricane activity (PDI) with greenhouse warming. In the latter case, the alternative relative SST measure in the lower panel does not change very much over the 21st century, even with substantial Atlantic warming projections from climate models, because, crucially, the warming projected for the tropical Atlantic in the models is not very different from that projected for the tropics as a whole.A key question then is: Which of the two future Atlantic hurricane scenarios inferred from the statistical relations in Figure 1 is more likely? To try to gain insight on this question, we have first attempted to go beyond the ~50 year historical record of Atlantic hurricanes and SST to examine even longer records of Atlantic tropical storm activity and second to examine dynamical models of Atlantic hurricane activity under global warming conditions. These separate approaches are discussed below.

https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes

Vanadium 50 said:
How has the IPCC done thus far?

In January, NASA made a claim based on one of its study:
https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2943/...are-getting-future-warming-projections-right/

And I remember CarbonBrief made an article on the topic too: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-well-have-climate-models-projected-global-warming
 
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  • #5
After a Mentor discussion, the thread will stay closed. We don't have the expertise currently in the Mentor ranks to Moderate threads that are trying to predict where the current Climate Change will lead. Sorry about that. Interesting thread start, though, IMO. :smile:
 
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1. How will climate change impact the economy of the US?

Climate change is expected to have significant economic impacts on the US. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts, can cause damage to infrastructure and disrupt industries such as agriculture and tourism. Rising sea levels can also lead to property damage and displacement, affecting the real estate market. Additionally, the costs of adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change can be substantial.

2. Will climate change lead to more frequent natural disasters in the US?

While it is impossible to attribute any single natural disaster solely to climate change, scientists have observed an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in the US. This trend is expected to continue as the Earth's average temperature rises, making extreme weather events more common and severe.

3. How will climate change affect the health of people living in the US?

Climate change can have a range of impacts on human health in the US. Extreme heat and poor air quality can lead to heat-related illnesses and respiratory problems. Changes in precipitation patterns can also affect the spread of diseases carried by insects, such as Lyme disease. Additionally, displacement and food insecurity caused by climate change can also have negative impacts on mental health.

4. Will climate change disproportionately affect certain regions or communities in the US?

Yes, certain regions and communities in the US are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Coastal communities are at risk due to rising sea levels and increased frequency of hurricanes. Low-income and marginalized communities may also be disproportionately affected as they often have less resources to adapt to and recover from the effects of climate change.

5. How can individuals in the US help mitigate the effects of climate change?

Individual actions, such as reducing energy consumption, using public transportation, and eating a plant-based diet, can help reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Additionally, individuals can also support policies and initiatives that promote renewable energy and sustainable practices. It is important for everyone to do their part in addressing climate change to protect the future of the US and the planet.

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