Key impacts of climate change in Georgia

The latest report of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, issued this week, mentions Atlanta and Georgia directly several times. The report, which quickly became fodder for debate, contained these highlights:

Temperatures

  • Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and Tampa have already had increases in the number of days with temperatures exceeding 95 degrees, during which the number of deaths is above average.

Water availability

  • Water in the Southeast is abundant. But the region also experiences extensive droughts, such as the 2007 drought in Atlanta, which created water conflicts among three states.
  • The warming climate poses new stresses and uncertainties on the Appalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin, a key source of water for Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Agriculture

  • Corn yields could decline by 15 percent and wheat yields by 20 percent through 2020. In addition, many fruit crops from long-lived trees and bushes require chilling periods and may need to be replaced in a warming climate. One expert contacted by the AJC agreed that corn yields are likely to decline, but he said the projection of 15 percent is too high.

     

     

Subscribers may read the full story by staff writer Ariel Hart at myajc.com.

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