Last week the federal government released a draft Climate Assessment, which unequivocally states that climate change is already impacting Americans. Rising temperature, increased rainfall, drought and floods in different areas, along with rising sea level from melting arctic ice and glaciers all will continue, becoming more frequent and intense. These are the direct impacts of climate change. There are a slew of indirect changes that are also expected to be more frequent by the end of the century, such as power outages, public transit shutdowns, asthma and public health emergencies. Especially relevant for us in the Bay Area is sea level rise, predicted to be anywhere from 8 inches to 6 1/2 feet. This puts important infrastructure at risk in our Bay-side cities, but especially concerning are the numerous power plants that will be in an expanding flood zone. We’re not much better or worse off than the rest of the country, though – and coastal areas around the country have seen the biggest increase in population. To read more analysis of this report, head to Grist, and there’s also a great breakdown of some of the graphics used in the report here.
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