Evidence of Climate Change: An Overview of the Science

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Global temperature is a function of the balance between incoming and outgoing energy. An increase in greenhouse gas emissions has altered that balance, leading to global warming. Since 1880, global temperature has risen 0.8 °C[1]. This presentation will describe the major drivers of global climate, document the many lines of evidence for the increase in global temperature, and provide information about the implications of atmospheric and oceanic warming.

Warming will impact the Southern Great Plains (Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas), a major hub for energy production, export, and freight. According to the 4th National Climate Assessment (2018),[2] annual average temperatures for this region are projected to increase by 3.6°–5.1°F by the mid-21st century. This region will likely face costly impacts due to more intense and frequent extreme weather events like heat, drought, flooding and storms. These extreme events are expected to make severe demands on aging infrastructure and stress on our region’s water resources. Furthermore, rising sea levels will place coastal infrastructure at risk.

[1] https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/DecadalTemp

[2] https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/23/