Researchers with the U.S. Global Change Research Program say the country is already feeling the impacts of climate change. In the southeast, they found that average annual temperatures decreased between 1901 and 1970. But since then temperatures have increased nearly two degrees Fahrenheit. And the number of very hot days is expected to increase more rapidly than average temperatures. Louisville Climate Action Network director Sarah Lynn Cunningham says that local research shows Louisville could stave off some of the more dire projections for the region, such as severe drought.
“To a degree we’re going to be buffered from some of the impacts of climate change for a longer period of time,” says Cunningham.
Access to water from the Ohio River could help. But Cunningham says increasing drought and more frequent severe weather could still take a toll on crops.
On the web: http://downloads.globalchange.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/southeast.pdf