BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Young adults in Maryland are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center.
“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Julian Boggs with Environment America. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”
Intense storms have led to a 21 percent increase in precipitation Marylanders have experienced over the last 40 years, according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young.
The report also shows that temperatures have risen almost 2 degrees over the last five generations. Increased temperatures pose a significant threat to Maryland. A major flooding event in Baltimore, more probable due to sea level rise, would put 3.1 billion in property at risk.
Even Maryland’s prized Baltimore orioles are at risk. The bird is moving its summer habitat northward to compensate for higher temperatures. They could be completely gone from Baltimore by 2080. In fact, 314 North American bird species could lose more than half their current ranges by 2080.
Researchers found similar increases in temperatures and extreme weather across the country. In every state, young adults are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation. The biggest rain and snowstorms produce 10 percent more rainfall in 2011 than they did in 1948.
According to the report, If the United States and the world continue to emit more carbon pollution, by the end of the century, when today’s children will be reaching retirement age, the temperature will have risen 5-10 °F.
To avoid increasing average temperature and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment Maryland advocates dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires a 30% reduction in power plant emissions by 2030. Senators Cardin and Mikulski’s support of that plan is critical, advocates said today.
“We need leaders like Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski to support dramatic cuts in pollution, starting with the Clean Power Plan, so that we don’t pass down a more dangerous climate to the next generation,” concluded Boggs.
Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center is a statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.environmentmaryland.org