“To say the effects were severe is putting it lightly,” says forest ecologist Gregory Asner of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Palo Alto, California, who led the research.
“The whole system is stressed out and falling apart,” Asner says.
The data “are bad news,” he says, because they suggest climate change could dramatically affect forests in the next few decades. “This isn’t a year 2100 thing.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest assessment, similar to others in recent years, also says higher sea levels — regardless of the extent of global warming — won’t stop in 2100. It says 8 million people live in U.S. coastal areas at risk of flooding and many of the nation’s military, energy and commercial assets are located at or near the ocean.
Finally, recent NOAA reports make clear that much more record-breaking extreme weather is in our near future:
- NOAA: Warming-Driven Arctic Ice Loss Is Boosting Chance of Extreme U.S. Weather
- NOAA: Climate Change Driving Arctic Into A ‘New State’ With Rapid Ice Loss And Record Permafrost Warming
Anybody still think we don’t have a planetary emergency on our hands?