Well, we're pretty much screwed.
The United States Global Change Research Program released a report today that lays out a pretty dire scenario- climate change is going to smack the ever living crap out of us.
Twilight Earth broke news of the report early today. I downloaded and skimmed the 196 page report, here are a few takeaways followed by the official reports Key Findings.
• It's written by a bunch of really smart scientists from places like NOAA, the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and all sorts of top universities.
• The really smart scientists pulled from "a large body of scientific information" (page 11). The science is sound and peer reviewed.
• Global warming is happening and it's our fault because we burn fossil fuels and cut down forests.
Here are the reports key findings: (page 16)
1. Global Warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced. 2. Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.
3. Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase.
4. Climate change will stress water resources
5. Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged.
6. Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise and storm surge.
7. Risks to human health will increase.
8. Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses.
9. Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems.
10. Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today.
Because that's what's at stake- our cushy first-world way of life. If we don't stop dumping CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the air, we're going to serve up a healthy dose of refugee living to our children and grandchildren.
You can download the full report here (PDF), swing over to Twilight Earth to read their coverage and the always excellent (and smart) Grist has a great roundup of news coverage of the reports release.
As my pal Adam Shake at Twilight Earth said, "The debate is over"*.
* Oh how I wish it was really over. The other side doesn't let reality get in their way, we're in for a long fight.