Jessica Sieff | April 24, 2020
Earth Day 2020 will mark 50 years since the first nationwide effort to educate the public and raise awareness of environmental issues that threaten the health and sustainability of the planet.
The impacts of global climate change are no less visible at regional and local levels. In the Midwest in 2018, local governments grappled with the costs and cleanup of a 500-year flood, which damaged thousands of homes, while recently erosion has forever changed the shorelines along Lake Michigan.
“By the 2070s, changes in global climate will likely include strong warming across the globe, up to 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) relative to late 20th century climate,” said Alan Hamlet, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences. “We’ll expect to see shifts in precipitation that are regionally specific. For example, California, along with states in the southwest region will likely be substantially drier than historical conditions, while the Midwest will be substantially wetter. These global impacts will result in extreme damage to human and natural systems in vulnerable communities, making mitigation efforts to control greenhouse gasses and adaptation efforts to reduce impacts important priorities for governments and communities around the world —– now and in the future.”
Notre Dame’s climate scientists are among the millions of Americans now staying safe at home, remotely teaching their students through the coronavirus pandemic. Most, if not all of current field research projects, are on hold. The planet looks very different today than it did 50 years ago. During an historical and uncertain time, they imagine what the planet will look like 50 years from now.
Their responses underscore the reality of a world in concurrent crises, an undeniable need for action now and hope for the future.
Read. more here.