Wednesday, August 05, 2015

COTW: A Trend That Matters

This chart from the EPA shows the trends in carbon dioxide emissions with and without the new clean power rule announced this week:

The rule makes clear difference in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere.  Why should this concern you?  Just one impact of a hotter planet besides the higher sea levels, more intense precipitation and more violent storms is shown by this chart, the growing federal cost of fighting wildfires:
source: Mother Jones
Localities and states are experiencing similar increasing costs of wildfires.  The size of wildfires on federal land has quadrupled since 1985. Of the top ten largest burns, nine have occurred since 2000.  The cost statistics of these fires are undeniable:

The bad news just keeps getting worse. Scientists have been telling us for decades that droughts will be more common. According to one model from the University of California-Santa Cruz, melting sea ice will cause a 30% decrease in the southwest United States. The most at risk for wildfires are some of the most populated regions of the nation: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties of drought striken California.