gulf 1 climate

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Confronting Climate Change in the Gulf Coast Region: 

Confronting Climate Change in the Gulf Coast Region The global climate is changing due to the build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Unless this build-up is slowed, the climate of the Gulf Coast region could be noticeably altered.

Global Climate Change: 

Global Climate Change “Weather changes all the time. The average pattern of weather, called climate, usually stays pretty much the same for centuries if it is left to itself. However, the Earth is not being left alone. People are taking actions that can change the Earth and its climate in significant ways.” Carnegie Mellon University

Global Climate Change: 

Global Climate Change How is the climate already changing? Why is it changing? How are humans contributing to the problem? What can we do about it?

The Science of Climate Change: 

The Science of Climate Change “An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system.” IPCC 2001


Source: OSTP


Fossil Fuel Use


Deforestation Source: OSTP “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” IPCC, 2001


Source: IPCC TAR 2001 Humans are increasing heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere Carbon dioxide: +31% Methane: +151% Nitrous oxide: +17%


Source: OSTP Clear correlation between CO2 and temperature over last 160,000 years Current level of CO2 is outside bounds of natural variability Rate of change of CO2 is also unprecedented


CO2 concentrations will likely be more than 700ppm by 2100 Global average temperatures are projected to increase by between 2.5– 10.4°F (1.4-5.8 °C) by 2100 2100 Source: OSTP If nothing is done to slow these gas emissions. . .


Source: IPCC TAR 2001 Global Average Surface Temperature Has Risen 1.1°F (0.6°C) Over the Past 100 Years


Global Annual Temperature Trends: 1901 - 1990 Source: Watson 2000


Observed Changes in Physical and Ecological Systems Source: IPCC TAR 2001


So … What does this all mean for the Gulf Coast Region?


Influences on Gulf Coast Climate


Climate Subregions of the Gulf Coast Region drier wet drier sub- tropical temperate

Historical Temperature Changes in the Gulf Coast Region: 

Historical Temperature Changes in the Gulf Coast Region


Source: UCAR/NCAR 2000 Used in Report Mean Temperature Change for U.S. (°F) 1850-2100 Climate Model Comparison All models agree: significantly warmer

July Heat Index Change of 10-25°F (5.6-14 °C) by 2100: 

July Heat Index Change of 10-25°F (5.6-14 °C) by 2100 July Heat Index - a combined measure of temperature and humidity


Historic Sea-Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sea-level rise will accelerate in the future


Relative Sea-Level Rise Scenarios for the Gulf of Mexico 15-40” (37-100 cm) rise in sea level by 2100


Data Source: National Climatic Data Center, 2000 Historical Changes in Annual Precipitation


Projected Changes in Precipitation More frequent intense rainfall events; longer dry periods in between Drier in most coastal areas Wetter or drier in upland regions Source: SFWMD


Hurricanes and Tropical Storms With global warming: more intense hurricanes are likely, but changes in frequency are uncertain.

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