White House: Climate Change Cause of Historic Midwest Flooding

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With some rivers in the Midwest rising 11 feet higher than their all-time historic highs and 20 feet above flood stage, the deluge that is making some locals nostalgic for 1993 is being attributed by a series of White House science agency reports as the result of global climate change.

The US Climate Change Science Program, coordinated by President George Bush, said yesterday that "droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes are likely to become more commonplace as humans continue to increase the atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases."

This is the first time the program has released results of what climate change will look like in this continent.

Consisting of 13 federal agencies and supervised by green visors including the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Economic Council, this is a sobering look at what the US, Canada and Mexico must do to adapt their economies, the natural environment, food production and communities in the face of such devastation.

The scientists called for improved ability to model extreme weather impacts relationship to global climate change, including severe heat waves, such as the 2003 European heat wave that killed upwards of 35,000, and megadroughts. That way they can better forecast severe weather and its impacts, so people, like those whose communities are underwater in the Midwest, can have an idea of what to expect and can get ready.

The forecast is not pretty.

"In the future, with continued global warming, heat waves and heavy downpours are likely to further to increase in frequency and intensity...more frequent droughts of greater severity.... Hurricane wind speeds, rainfall intensity and storm surge levels are likely to increase."

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About the Author

    Warren Karlenzig
Warren Karlenzig, Common Current founder and president, has worked with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (lead co-author United Nations Shanghai Manual: A Guide to Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century, 2011); United Nations Center for Regional Development (training of mayors from 13 Asian nations on city sustainable economic development and technology); provinces of Guizhou and Guangdong, China (urban sustainability master planning and green city standards); the United States White House and Environmental Protection Agency (Eco-Industrial Park planning and Industrial Ecology primer); the nation of South Korea ("New Cities Green Metrics"); The European Union ("Green and Connected Cities Initiative"); the State of California ("Comprehensive Recycling Communities" and "Sustainable Community Plans"); major cities; and the world's largest corporations developing policy, strategy, financing and critical operational capacities for 20 years.

Present and recent clients include the Guangzhou Planning Agency; the Global Forum on Human Settlements; the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bureau; the US Department of State; the Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the non-governmental organization Ecocity Builders; a major mixed-use real estate development corporation; an educational sustainability non-profit; and global corporations. Read more here.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Warren Karlenzig published on June 20, 2008 12:45 PM.

San Francisco Passes Nation's Largest Local Residential Solar Subsidy was the previous entry in this blog.

California's AB 32 Scoping Report: Local Government's Role in Addressing Global Climate Change is the next entry in this blog.

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