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Regional climate forecast is troubling, but there’s hope

Bill GutowskiDig into the latest big report just released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and a fact sheet tells you about projected climate changes in central North America.

There’s “high confidence” that drought will increase as warming increases, according to the panel’s sixth report, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.” It’s “very likely” there will be increases in extreme precipitation. There’s “medium confidence” there will be increases in river and rainfall flooding. And there’s “medium confidence” winter precipitation will increase in the northern part of a region that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Canada.

But will those risk assessments and the data behind them change government policy? Will they change industries? Our sources of energy? Our own behavior?

Well, that’s possible if the scientists can make meaningful connections with people, said Iowa State University’s William Gutowski, a professor of geological and atmospheric sciences and one of 15 lead authors of the report’s 228-page Chapter 10, “Linking global to regional climate change.”

You can read the full story at LAS News.