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Future Climate Change Impacts on the U.S.

May 16, 2014; 11:53 AM ET

In part two of our coverage on the recently released National Climate Assessment report we will look at a sampling of potential future impacts of climate change on the U.S. based on different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

The two maps below show projected change in average surface air temperatures from the 1970-1999 period to the 2071-2099 period. The first map is a prediction based off of a lower emissions scenario and the second is based off of a higher emissions scenarion.

The next graphic below is the projected percent change in average precipitation from the 1970-1999 period to the 2071-2099 period across North America by season. These projections are assuming a higher emissions scenario.

The graphic below shows how the demand for cooling versus heating has changed in the U.S. since 1970. Clearly, the trend is toward more cooling needs.

The maps below projected increases in the average temperature on the hottest days by late this century (2081-2100) relative to 1986-2005 under a scenario that assumes a rapid reduction in heat-trapping gases and a scenario that assumes continued increases in these gases. The hottest days are those so hot they occur only once in 20 years. Across most of the continental U.S., those days will be about 10ºF to 15ºF hotter in the future under the higher emissions scenario. (via the NCA report)

Rapid reduction scenario.

Business as usual.

Water supply sustainability risk index projections for the year 2050 based on no climate change effects (first image) vs. climate change impacts (2nd image).

Where I live in Pennsylvania we have seen a tremendous increase in the dreaded deer ticks over the past 20 years. You almost have to dress for combat nowadays if you just want to take a nice hike through the woods as those ticks are all over the place.

The NCA report shows projected changes in deer tick habitat in the eastern U.S. from now to 2080 due to climate change.

Images courtesy of the National Climate Assessment report.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Climate Change
In the AccuWeather.com Climate Change Blog, you will find links to the latest research, commentary by experts with various points of view on all aspects of global climate change.