PHOENIX — The Obama administration released an updated federal scientific report Tuesday showing how climate change had touched every part of the country.
Kathy Jacobs, professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona, has been working with the White House for four years on the study and said the effects of climate change have been felt for years. It will only worsen if measures aren’t taken soon, she said.
Arizona’s wildfires have become progressively worse in the past few years, with nine of the 10 largest ever occurring since 2002.
“We can reduce the emissions with more efficient energy use in our homes,” Jacobs said. “We can change the trajectory we’re on. It will continue to warm up to some degree but the future will look very different if we start making investments now.
Jacobs said the climate assessment pointed out the expected impacts and some that were unexpected.
“It’s very clear the impacts are already occurring in the Southwest. We’re seeing larger wildfires, more drought and issues with human health,” she said. “Water is a major problem for the Southwest and in the context of climate change it’s a problem in supply and the increased demand. Agriculture is being impacted not just as far as water but the higher temperatures.”
On the other hand, Arizona may be ahead of the curve when it comes to banking water.
“Arizona has a very sophisticated water-management system with a lot of comprehensive water sources. That being said, the impacts to the Colorado River system are substantial and expected to increase,” Jacobs said.
Climate-change skeptics were quick to paint the study as alarmist.
“This report was not written by the government. It was written by scientists and experts,’ Jacobs said. “This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, it’s about what people are observing. This is about science, not politics.”
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night