US Climate Change Hot Spots

More powerful computers are describing what will happen in our various neighborhoods this century. Earlier reports divided the continental US into west, central, and east. The 15 August Science, Climate Change Hot Spots Mapped Across the United States (subscription needed) discusses the newest results.

The US Southwest and northern Mexico are currently and will continue to be the most responsive to climate change. The big difference is not warmer weather, or changes in precipitation (either up or down), but in variability.

The coastal portion of the southeast is predicted to be least responsive, less variable weather, but this doesn’t make it “‘safe’ or ‘immune'” from climate change–more severe weather is a major risk.

Lake Mead
The southwest is drying. There is a 50% chance that Lake Mead will go dry by 2021, and a 50% chance that by 2017, there will be too little water for hydroelectric power.

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