While it is impossible to attribute any single weather event to climate change, the multiplicity of extreme events combined with continuing high temperatures, melting glaciers, and sea-level rise are all consistent with projections by climate scientists about how climate change will play out.”
Florida’s coastal areas are great places to live, work and play. Unfortunately, these areas are feeling the effects of changing air and water temperature, rising sea level, and changes in the amount of rainfall and severity of storms.
Scientific evidence collected over decades–and scientific consensus–demonstrates the reality of sea-level rise and climate change. Sea level measurements tell us how much the oceans have risen, and historical records from various sources, including ice cores, confirm that atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased rapidly during the last century.
While science can tell us that our seas are rising and climate is changing, science cannot give us very accurate assessments of the speed or scale of these changes. Trends in climate change and sea-level rise may present different impacts for different communities, so local governments and environmental managers must assess their vulnerability and rely on the best available science.
“While it is impossible to attribute any single weather event to climate change, the multiplicity of extreme events combined with continuing high temperatures, melting glaciers, and sea level rise are all consistent with projections by climate scientists about how climate change will play out,” Jones said.
Florida Sea Grant offers several resources to help governments and managers prepare for climate change. In addition to our Coastal Planning and Natural Systems web pages, Florida Sea Grant has staff members dedicated to this issue. Thomas Ruppert, coastal planning specialist and attorney, assists local governments with legal and planning issues. Regional extension agent Pamela Fletcher and Florida Sea Grant Director Karl Havens focus on the effects of climate change on the Everglades. Sea Grant faculty Alicia Betancourt, Libby Carnahan, and Holly Abeels all work with their respective counties and with broader audiences on climate-change-related and sea-level-rise-related topics.
For those seeking information on climate change, below Florida Sea Grant offers some of the latest publications from some of the most reliable resources available.
Frequently Asked Questions on Global Warming Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Climate.gov, this document assembles categories of questions about climate change and global warming and gives simple, non-technical answers. Many of the questions represent topics often discussed as part of efforts to downplay either the importance or the reality of climate change and the human contribution to climate change. Sample questions addressed include: “What is the difference between global warming and climate change?”; “Is the Earth still warming?”; “How strong is the evidence that humans are the main cause?”; “Couldn’t the Sun be the cause of the recent global warming?”; “Doesn’t carbon dioxide in the atmosphere come from natural sources?”; and “Why is the current global warming trend any different than previous warming periods in Earth’s history?”
Climate Change: Evidence and Causes This document, a cooperative publication of the United States National Academy of Science and the Royal Society, provides a readable format that provides plain-language answers to many common questions about climate change. The material was developed by scientists at the two cooperating scientific academies and reviewed by numerous climate scientists and others. This is also now available in an interactive format.
Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts & Choices Published by the National Research Council, this booklet is intended to help people understand what is known about climate change.
Assessment Report 5 Physical Basis Summary for Policy Makers Published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this is the first section to be released of the most recent assessment of climate research.
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