The book, which UF’s Keith Ingram helped write, is titled “Climate Change of the Southeast United States: Variability, Change, Impacts and Vulnerability.” Ingram was the book’s lead editor.
Principal authors and editors, including Ingram, unveiled the book Tuesday. Ingram is director of the Southeast Climate Consortium and an associate research scientist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“The Southeast already experiences extreme weather events including floods, droughts, heat waves, cold outbreaks, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and tropical cyclones. In the future, these events are likely to become more frequent or more severe, causing damage to most of our region’s agriculture, stressing our region’s water resources and threatening human health,” he said. “The sooner we make preparations, the better off we’ll be.”
As defined in the book, the Southeast includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Specific findings include:• Average annual temperatures are projected to increase through the 21st century, with the region’s interior projected to warm by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit;
• Air quality is projected to decline and pollen counts will go up, damaging human health.
Residents of the Southeast should begin to prepare for the likelihood of more frequent extreme weather events, Ingram said.
With 26 percent of the U.S. population living in the Southeast, the region produces 25 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, which are partly responsible for the climate change problem, Ingram said.
“We are a significant contributor, but we can help with the solution,” he said.
The Southeast Climate Consortium works with extension agents and farmers to bring them valuable research.
“We work on how to adapt to or mitigate climate change,” Ingram said.
Some local governments have agreed to reduce carbon emissions, the authors said Tuesday.
Several agencies helped produce the report. They include three NOAA-funded Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Centers: the Southeast Climate Consortium, the Carolinas Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program.
The University of Florida is one of the nation’s largest public universities. A member of the Association of American Universities, UF posted research expenditures totaling $740 million in 2011. Through its research and other activities, UF contributes more than $8.76 billion a year to Florida’s economy and has a total employment impact of more than 100,000 jobs statewide. www.ufl.edu. Find us on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/UniversityofFlorida
Brad Buck | Newswise
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