On the heels of a National Wildlife Federation report that showed how we can expect more extreme heat waves, thanks to global warming, and in the midst of damaging California wildfires that are among the best indicators of climate change, The Nature Conservancy has published a first-of-its-kind calculator that lets you see just how global warming will affect you in your state: The ClimateWizard.
This is among the first Web-based tools that gives people access to information that has been widely available publicly, but largely locked up in dense pdf documents.
One conclusion: The American Heartland -- Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa -- is in for some serious changes, on the order of a 10-degree jump in average temperature by the end of this century. (Since the last Ice Age, the Earth's temperature has increased about 15 degrees, so that's nothing to sneeze at.)
"The state-by-state, country-by-country temperature projections are part of a new tool called Climate Wizard that allows people to use an interactive map to explore past and projected climate change data on their computers," The Nature Conservancy states in its press release. "With Climate Wizard, users can zoom in on any location to quickly see how temperatures and precipitation may change by month, season or year under different emission scenarios."
The maps go a long way toward illustrating some of the changes that are to come, under current projections from climate models if nothing is done to slow the pace of global warming. In my home, for instance, it looks like by 2100 the winter will be 10 degrees warmer and nearly 25% wetter. Sounds like a flood.
Flooding is a big deal where I live. Recent flooding in the Catskills has wrecked homes, and in my hometown, the water treatment plant has been critically damaged by flooding brought on by a series of deluges typically not seen more frequently than once every 100 years or so. For me, more flooding is likely to mean higher taxes, as my water plant needs repair or replacement or relocation.
Is 10 degrees and 25% more rain waiting for your community? Use the ClimateWizard to find out.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.