WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Record hot summers, extreme snowy winters, massive storms– you can blame them all on climate change, according to a new scientific report released by the White House on Tuesday.
Derek Valcourt explains it’s a global warning alarm detailing some major impacts expected in Maryland.
The White House report is looking long term, decades down the road. Environmental officials say thanks to Maryland’s huge shorelines, we could be one of the most severely impacted states.
If you thought Maryland’s recent winter was too harsh or last summer too hot, brace yourselves. A new federal study says the impacts of global warming will get worse.
Areas of the country that are already quite hot are getting hotter. Already wet places are getting wetter. Already dry places are getting dryer.
A sweeping 840-page report warns the nation needs to be prepared for more superstorms like Sandy, killer tornadoes, record rainfalls and devastating droughts.
That report has officials at Maryland’s Department of Environment paying close attention.
“We are one of the more vulnerable states in the nation,” said David Costello, deputy secretary of the Department of the Environment.
The report warns Maryland to brace for more extreme temperatures, extreme precipitation and perhaps the biggest impact, a sea level rise.
With more than 3,000 miles of mostly low-level shorelines, Maryland could be hardest hit by a sea level rise.
Predictions show Maryland’s coasts could see a rise of 2-3 feet, losing hundreds of acres of valuable land at places like the Port of Baltimore and all along the bay.
“The businesses that are located there, the towns, the homes– all of those will be inundated by more flooding from extreme storms,” Costello said.
To tackle the problem, Maryland launched what the governor calls the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction plans in the country.
It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by the year 2020, cutting emissions from power plants by 40 percent, doubling transit ridership and eliminating 85 percent of Maryland’s waste.
Environmental officials say the White House report is more proof the time to act is now.
“Even what we’ve done to date, in terms of mitigating, we are going to suffer consequences for generations to come. What we have to ensure is that we don’t make it even worse,” Costello said.
The state estimates a $2 billion benefit between now and 2020 just by implementing the greenhouse reductions plan.
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