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Tourists overlook Navajo Canyon in 1948 at Mesa Verde National Park, which is now vulnerable to increased flooding and more frequent wildfires.
The elderly, children, and those with existing circulatory and respiratory conditions are most at risk, she adds. NRDC's new report builds on recent scientific and policy findings, including the peer-reviewed National Climate Assessment, which argued that climate change is already resulting in substantial financial, public health, and ecological costs, from increasingly severe weather to disruption of infrastructure.
And in August 2013, a study published in Science warned that wars, murders, and other acts of violence will likely become more commonplace in coming decades as the effects of global warming cause tempers to flare worldwide. Added to this list of risks are eight trends that may make summers more miserablea€”and potentially more dangerousa€”thanks to global warming. Eight of the nine warmest years since recordkeeping began in 1880 have occurred since 2000, the report notes.
NRDC also warns that heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, killing people directly through heat stroke and indirectly by exacerbating conditions such as heart and respiratory disease. The bipartisan report released in June had noted that heat waves are likely to be especially strong in the Southwest, Southeast, and upper Midwest. This will result in more respiratory irritations and will exacerbate problems among those who already suffer from asthma, a population of 27 million Americans.
The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that rising temperatures are likely to increase the spread of ticks carrying Lyme disease and mosquitoes carrying the West Nile and dengue viruses. Today, poison ivy is found in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, and California, although the similar poison oak grows in the latter. A 2011 study found that ragweed, one of the most notorious producers of allergens, sheds pollen up to a month longer than it did in 1995 in some parts of North America. Another way climate change may make us sick is by encouraging growth of food-borne bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter, the report warns.
Increased growth of toxic algal blooms in coastal waters also increases the likelihood of transmission of illness through seafood.
Algal blooms can also make it risky to swim in affected waters, both through ingestion of water and through damage to the skin. To prevent these threats from becoming inevitable, NRDC asks concerned citizens to support efforts to curb emissions of greenhouse gases.
NRDC's report comes just days before the conservative Heartland Institute's 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas July 7-9.
The bull trout, technically not a true trout but a char, chills in some of North America's coldest freshwater bodies. Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. The past decade has been the hottest on record, according to new global warming data released today at the Copenhagen climate conference by the World Meteorological Organization.
What's more, 2009 is shaping up to be the fifth warmest year since coordinated record keeping began in 1850, according to preliminary figures released by the Geneva-based UN organization.
The new data, collected from land-based weather stations across the world, as well as by ships, buoys, and satellites, does not show a slowdown or reversal of the global warming trend, Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said at a press briefing. Questioned about the role of the University of East Anglia, the WMO's Jarraud argued that the new climate data has been verified by two further independently gathered data sets from the U.S.
Most of the world's continents experienced above-average temperatures this year, with the exception of North America, which cooled down.
Many other regions, including parts of South Asia, China, and Africa, experienced their highest temperatures on record.
Families and individuals on the move swell into long-used migration routes across the globe. Data Points is a new series in which we explore the world of data visualization, information graphics, and cartography. The desperate men, women, and children flooding into Europe from the Middle East and Africa are not the only people moving along ever-shifting and dangerous migration routes. Last year saw the highest levels of global forced displacement on recorda€”59.5 million individuals left their homes in 2014 due to a€?persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violationsa€? according to the United Nations. Now Europea€™s governments are straining as hundreds of thousands more have been making the journey this year.
Plenty of other nations are also experiencing exoduses or are grappling with becoming transit points, smugglers' routes, or desired end points for migrants. As of this week, the number of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria approached 4.1 million. The Eastern Mediterranean routea€”the passage long used by migrants crossing through Turkey to the European Uniona€”has grown ever more crowded since the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011.

Of the more than 442,000 refugees and migrants so far this year who have made it to Europe by sea, 51 percent are from Syria, according to the UN.
Nearly 90 percent of those who attempt to reach Europe by sea come from ten countries, in descending order by percentage: Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, and Bangladesh. Long-simmering conflict in Colombia has resulted in more than six million internally-displaced people there while  an increasingly violent drug trade in Honduras and El Salvador has fueled more destabilization in the region.
Political upheavala€”including Muslim Rohingya refugees who have fled political repression in Myanmara€”restrictive migration policies, and a lack of legal frameworks for refugees have made Southeast Asia increasingly dangerous for migrants.
Earlier this year the International Organization for Migration estimated that some 6,000 people fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh were stranded at sea on overcrowded fishing boats controlled by smugglers in the Andaman Sea and the Strait of Malacca off the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. See some of summer's animal-world losers and winners in the extreme-weather stakes, including Anthrax bacteria and slug-eating hedgehogs. A marmot takes a snack break in front of Washington State's snow-capped Olympic mountain range. Spores of the potentially fatal Bacillus anthracis bacteriuma€”which causes the disease anthraxa€”sit in a lung.Once inhaled, spores may germinate and release toxic substances that have been known to cause internal bleeding, swelling, and tissue death. Invasive zebra mussels may find the waters of Lake Erie a bit warm for their liking these days. A cheeky fox rests on a car in London and a bear explores a backyard in a new collection of urban wildlife around the globe. Southeast Asia's bearcat has a movie-theater aroma, but it's not the only animal that smells like snack foods. Global warming will drive La NiA±a to greater extremes, a new study saysa€”and El NiA±o too. A warning buoy sits on a dry bed in Lake Mendocino, a large resevoir near Ukiah, California. People living around the Pacific Ocean, including in parts of Asia, Australia, and western North and South America, should expect wilder climate swings in the 21st century.
If the predictions prove true, it could mean tens of thousands more weather-related deaths and devastating economic damages.
The paper published Monday reveals the La Niña side of the equation and appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. Using computer models that simulate how increasing greenhouse gases alter ocean and land temperatures and wind patterns, the study finds that particularly intense La Niñas will occur approximately every 13 years in this century, compared with every 23 years in the past one. During the most recent extreme La Niña, in the late 1990s, the southwestern United States endured a severe drought, while more than half of Bangladesh was underwater and flooding in China killed thousands and displaced over 200 million people.
In an El Niño, the trade winds that blow west along the Equator weaken, and warm water that's normally pushed by the winds into the western Pacific comes sloshing back east. During La Niña, by contrast, the trade winds intensify, driving warm water and wet weather even farther west toward Asia, and causing cooler, drier conditions from the central Pacific east. Nearly all 21 models showed that in the future, the Asian land surface would warm faster than the surface waters of the central Pacific Ocean.
In other words, global warming increases the likelihood that a La Niña will turn nasty. Likewise it's expected to warm the eastern Pacific near the Americas more than it does the central Pacific.
As a result of global warming, the new study suggests, the ENSO cycle will have a greater tendency to swing between extremes, like a seesaw with heavyweights at each end. The Pacific trade winds pose a challenge for climate models, said Antonietta Capotondi, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
Still, most of the 21 models used by Cai and his colleagues agree in forecasting greater swings for the ENSO cycle. The report pointed to droughts in the West and flood-based damage to roads in the East, in particular. Specifically, the NRDC report warns that climate change will make heat waves longer, hotter, and more frequent. That's likely to increase as warmer temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels encourage weedy plants to grow, the report warns. The private, "Climategate" email exchanges among climate scientists refer to statistical "tricks" used to support a case for global warming and, to some, suggest a stifling of data that runs contrary to global warming findings.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
A majority are from war-ravaged Syria, risking treacherous waters and unscrupulous smugglers as they push north for a better and safer life. The routes, which are often secretive, are cutting paths through Central America and Mexico, the Horn of Africa (there are now nearly one million Somali refugees), and countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Malaysia, along with the headline-making migrations through East Africa and the Mediterranean Sea.

These Syrians in exile have sought shelter in camps and temporary housing in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and throughout North Africa. Syrian routes have also been merging along easternmost points below the Mediterranean Sea of an East African migratory route that has long been used by people fleeing conflict in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan. The number of dead and missing this year alone has passed 2,900, including children like three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned alongside his brother and mother on the perilous boat journey.
Many have taken the treacherous journey north along smuggling routes, increasingly controlled by drug cartels, towards the U.S. Human trafficking, forced labor and other abuses are also rife in the region, according to the UN. The IOM also estimates that 94,000 migrants have set off by sea since 2014, including 31,000 this year. Like most species, these burrowing rodentsa€”cousins of the squirrela€”have a limited range of weather they can adjust to.Usually found in cool high-altitude locations, marmots rely on a thick, insulating blanket of snow during hibernation to stay warma€”and on summer vegetation to stay rotund. The Daily Mail reported in May that researchers were finding up to a thousand slugs per square meter (11 square feet).The slimy deluge was feared by gardeners and farmers but embraced by hedgehogs, which rely on slugs and snails as a food source.
The disease can also enter the bloodstream when spores are ingested or make contact with an open wound.Anthrax outbreaks this summer have killed more than a hundred farm animals on ranches in Colorado and Texas, with some experts pointing to drought as a culprit.
Cattle ranchers across the country have had a hard time feeding their herds as drought conditions have boosted corn and other feed pricesa€”at a time when the U.S. The charismatic creatures also call Antarctica home, but prefer its ice-free areas, including coastal plains, sheltered valleys, and cliffs.Recent months have been particularly tough on penguins, according to Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University and president of the nonprofit Saving Species. One scientist says the reef has the most amazing animals shea€™s ever seen on an expedition. The preceding El Niño is blamed for weather that did more than $33 billion in damage and claimed 23,000 lives worldwide. Cai and his colleagues brought greater computing power to bear on the problem, and they simplified it by focusing on the most extreme and damaging versions of the climate shifts.
The warm, moist air and thunderstorms that collect over that warm pool, typically around Indonesia, follow it east.
That makes the conclusion credible, said Capotondi, who wasn't involved in the new study but wrote an article analyzing it. Pacific Northwest residents require even summer water temperatures to remain below 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14.5 Celsius). Almost half have landed in Turkey, according to the UN, but conditions there have been worsening.
The extended warmth, they say, could expedite the production of more spores and help them survive for years in the soil. Pimm said much of Antarctica has seen wetter weather and heavier-than-usual snow, which can bury penguins."They aren't adapted to warmer, snowier conditions. That takes rain away from parts of Asia and Australia and brings more of it to the Americas. The key seems to be that different regions warm at different ratesa€”in such a way as to shift the cycle into overdrive.
And because some migrate from lakes back into smaller streams to spawn, bulls also need large, interconnected, unobstructed waterways. The human flow includes more than 68,000 unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border between 2013 and 2014, according the U.S. West Nile cases documented this year hovers around 2,000, with nearly 90 deaths, making the outbreak one of the worst to hit the country since the virus was first detected there in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Public health officials have said this summer's drought may have played a role in the increased number of cases. That means the regions bordering the Pacific are likely to see more cases of climate whiplash, with flood seasons following droughts and vice versa.
A wet spring can also bring swarms of biting flies that help to transmit anthrax."This season's outbreaks have more to do with management than ecology," Hugh-Jones added. When a species is wiped out over large areas, it could take years or decades for it to recover."Will species adapt? Humans contract anthrax most commonly through contact with infected animals and can usually be treated with antibiotics.

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