Global warming is changing our world. It is a global threat with real implications for everyone no matter where you live.
Global warming is caused by a variety of gases and materials in our atmosphere; including huge amounts of carbon dioxide and methane from human activities such as extracting and burning fossil fuels, and clearing forests. These gases can trap heat in the atmosphere, causing steadily increasing temperatures.
A consensus of scientists across the country and world have determined human-induced global warming is happening, is dangerous to human health, plants, and animals, and must be stopped. Some of the US’s top security advisers have warned that global warming is among the most serious security threats to our nation.
We have a limited timeframe for correcting course on global warming. If we don’t act soon, our world will change in disastrous, irreversible ways. A recent study indicated that without action, we could see a permanent loss of some of our country’s most iconic cities: New York City and L.A. could be wiped off the map as soon as 2100.
Global warming in the Heartland
As global warming alters weather patterns across the globe, researchers have predicted severe impacts across the Midwest and in Ohio, some of which we’re already experiencing. Scorching hot summers and extreme, unpredictable weather are expected to become the norm. This will result in more droughts as well as more floods – increasing uncertainty and damaging Ohio’s number one industry, agriculture.
Increasing rainfall also leads to larger amounts of agricultural pollution, as heavy rains wash manure and fertilizer off of farm fields and into our streams and lakes. With more agricultural pollution comes more toxic algae, a growing plague across Ohio.
As temperatures rise, air quality problems worsen – and Ohio cities will face more bad air days. Increased asthma and other health impacts would be significant. Severe allergies can also lead to missed days of work and school, and an overall lower quality of life.
Wildlife and trees will feel the impacts as well. Cedar waxwing and bobolink numbers are expected to drop significantly in Ohio due to global warming. At the same time, rising temperatures are making Ohio a much more ideal climate for severe tick infestations and the myriad of diseases they bring with them. To find out more about wildlife and tree impacts check out Ohio DNR’s Climate & Wildlife Tools and Resources.
Action, Solutions & Leadership
Right now, our best shot at correcting course on global warming lies in the US EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This plan sets us on a path to drastically reduce our carbon pollution. It is also tied to a number of international agreements that will lead to an overall, global reduction in heat-trapping gases.
The President’s Climate Action Plan
Read about the new Carbon Pollution Standards.
OEC’s statement about President Obama’s plan
Letter from OEC and 168 other Midwest Business & Community Leaders to President Obama to support his plan