Nov 152012
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Boston is predicted to become extremely hot by 2050. Other cities even hotter.Barack Obama is here for another 4 years as president but his efforts toward mitigating climate change so far has been feeble, at best, like throwing a pebble at a charging rhino. But I don’t expect any meaningful efforts from the president (or the world) toward stopping the road we’re on. As for Mitt Romney, his  plan was to throw gasoline on the fire. So it’s up to each person to make personal survival plans. That includes a change to another location if possible.

I will show you what our government expects over the next few decades for the Northeast United States. The reality will exceed their expectations but this will give you plenty to think about.

Northeast United States:

The climate change for the Northeast will include events like Hurricane/storm Sandy but more of it. This climate change will affect your daily lives in different ways, making existence difficult for the entire population of the world. The change is already here. If the world stopped polluting right now, the amount of CO2 gases emitted into the earth’s environment will continue to grow and remain there for many years. And the damage will  be catastrophic and deadly.

The United States Global Research Program manages info on what to expect with climate change by offering updated government material and research efforts for this century. A section on the effects of climate change on the regions give us some idea of what to expect. The reports are based on no effort toward adaptation or mitigation of the growing problem.

(It doesn’t matter since there appears to be only more chatter and no coordinated regional or global effort toward stopping this quickly- building danger to life on earth.)

“A note on the emissions scenarios from the government site:

“None of the emissions scenarios used in this report assume any policies specifically designed to address climate change. All, including the lower emissions scenario, assume increases in heat-trapping gas emissions for the next few decades, though at different rates.”

And we can assume, correctly, that the climate changes predicted for the Northeast United States and other regions will become more dangerous and deadly over these next few decades. For example:

  • “Severe flooding due to sea-level rise and heavy downpours is likely to occur more frequently.

Flooding will occur more often as increasing greenhouse gases bring about global warming, causing the ice to melt and the water to rise.“The densely populated coasts of the Northeast face substantial increases in the extent and frequency of storm surge, coastal flooding, erosion, property damage, and loss of wetlands. New York state alone has more than $2.3 trillion in insured coastal property. Much of the coastline is exceptionally vulnerable to sea-level rise and related impacts.”

Without a doubt, if you have been flooded, you should consider moving out of your coast home because the situation is going to become untenable over the next few decades. Next, move out of the city because those of you who have experienced it, know that gasoline, food and electricity will be gone. I was without electricity for 5 days after a hurricane in 2004. Power was off for everyone in the county. Food disappeared on the first day from the grocery stores and I got by with a few food supplies and water. I lost ten pounds. Living in an urban home or apartment is not possible without heat or cooling. Life in a city is only going to deteriorate as the CO2 level moves up and damaged infrastructure is destroyed or damaged multiple times. (Remember that the next four decades will be one of massive resource shortages, including water, food and oil. “The Perfect Storm”  2030.)

  • “Extreme heat and declining air quality are likely to pose increasing problems for human health, especially in urban areas.

“As urban areas develop, changes occur in their landscape. Buildings, roads, and other infrastructure replace open land and vegetation. Surfaces that were once permeable and moist become impermeable and dry. These changes cause urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an ‘island’ of higher temperature in the landscape.”

“On a clear night, …the temperature difference (between the city and the surrounding area) can be as much as 22 degrees F (12 degrees C).”

On a hot day, the temperature of the roofs and pavements can be as much as 50-90 degrees F hotter than the air.  In the recent drought over the U.S., Americans were killed due to the long-lasting enhanced heat from climate change. The Russians also had a high number of deaths from an enhanced drought in 2010 when they lost much of their wheat harvest and had to stop exporting their grain. They were also affected by huge out of control wildfires, and high heat levels caused many deaths.

Living in a city when all services have collapsed (and they will at some point) is unbearable, especially in the summer. Then citizens begin to die from the effects of the Urban Heat Island (click on Basic Information). This will become the norm, making urban living hazardous to your life. Consider that the cities will become more crowded as over one billion more people will be added to the world’s overpopulation. These 9 billion plus inhabitants are way beyond the carrying capacity of the earth.

This is another reason to move to a rural area and find a location that has a well, a little land, trees and high ground. You can at least have a chance to survive because living in an urban area will not help your chances of surviving the destruction that will be relentless over the next 38 years, especially against cities and towns next to rivers, oceans and other waterways. If you live on a beach next to the ocean, leave.

Ocean levels are rising while the greenhouse gases could reach beyond the 450 ppm (parts per million) soon globally. The reading in the Arctic just hit the 400 ppm level and could reach that 450 point in a few years everywhere, a jump to a more serious level of destruction. If you survived Sandy, there will be more storms, more powerful and long lasting. Living in the Northeast cities and towns along the water means you will be a repeat target.

There are other consequences as a result of climate change that will affect the northeast United States:

  • “Agricultural production, including dairy, fruit, and maple syrup, are likely to be adversely affected as favorable climates shift.

“Large portions of the Northeast are likely to become unsuitable for growing popular varieties of apples, blueberries, and cranberries under higher emissions scenarios. The climate conditions suitable for maple/beach/birch forests are projected to shift dramatically northward, eventually leaving only a small portion of the Northeast with a maple sugar business…”

  • “The projected reduction in snow cover will adversely affect winter recreation and the industries that rely upon it.

“The length of the winter snow season cover would be cut in half across northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and reduced to just a week or two in southern parts of the region by late this century under a higher emissions scenario….” Read more.

This chart shows how climate change will destroy the snow industry in the northeast as wet snow melts or changes to  heavy rain.Snow will fall  but the warmer climate will produce more wet snow, changing to rain. This could cost the region heavily since winter sports brings in $7.6 billion annually to the economy. Only one area in the region is projected to be able to support viable ski resorts by the end of the century.

If the climate changes much more drastically than anticipated because of the inertia of global leaders, the next three decades will provide a whirlwind of changes from over 9 billion people contributing to greenhouse gases.  (Projections are for one billion more vehicles to be on the road by then, just for starters.)

Once we’ve made it to 2050, the whole world will be at the mercy of a climate out of control. Our future will have been put in place for hundreds of years. And the bad part is that the greenhouse gases will be in the process of continuing the change with no relief. All of the pollutants will still be increasing from the daily lives of 9 billion people killing the planet and all that’s on it.