Global warming will bring more extreme heat waves. As the United States warms another 4 to 11°F on average over the next century, we will have more extremely hot summer days. Every part of the country will be affected. Urban areas will feel the heat more acutely because asphalt, concrete and other structures absorb and reradiate heat, causing temperature to be as much as 10°F higher than nearby rural areas.
Global warming is having a seemingly peculiar effect on winter weather in the northern United States. Winter is becoming milder and shorter on average; spring arrives 10 to 14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago. But most snowbelt areas are still experiencing extremely heavy snowstorms. Some places are even expected to have more heavy snowfall events as storm tracks shift northward and as reduced ice cover on the Great Lakes increases lake-effect snowfalls.
Global warming is shifting precipitation patterns and also increasing evaporation rates. These trends will create persistently drier conditions in some places, including the American Southwest. At the same time, they will intensify the periodic droughts that affect other regions of the country. These longer and drier droughts will have major consequences for water supply, agriculture and wildlife. Although the American Southeast is typically thought of as having abundant water supplies, recent droughts have served as a wake up call for the region.
Catastrophic wildfires just waiting to happen. This is the situation now facing the American West. Wildfire frequency, severity and damages are increasing because of rising temperatures, drying conditions and more lightning brought by global warming, combined with decades of fire suppression that allowed unsafe fuel loads to accumulate, a severe bark beetle infestation that is rapidly decimating trees and ever expanding human…