January 2015
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

State News: Action Needed to Keep Rivers Flowing

Action is required now to secure Colorado’s future prosperity and even keep some of the state’s rivers from drying up. That’s the finding of a new multi-agency report released this week by the federal government.

Dr. Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist for the National Wildlife Federation, is among those whose research was used for the study. Colorado, she said, has a lot at stake.

“Taking action to address climate change now will have a big impact on Colorado’s future, keeping warming to only about 5 degrees Fahrenheit and reducing impacts on water supply,” Staudt said.

The study predicts more frequent and intense heat waves across the country, and Staudt points out that Colorado and other Southwestern states are already seeing some of the effects of global warming.

“These include the most rapid warming in the nation, declines in spring snowpack and decreased water in the Colorado River,” she added.

Skeptics of climate change are convinced that changing weather patterns and conditions are part of natural cycles and not linked to human action. While the report is full of dire warnings, Staudt sees it as hopeful, too, because the nation is considering measures to reduce the kinds of pollution that have been scientifically linked to a rapidly changing climate.

“The good news is, there’s a bill moving in Congress that would send a signal to the world that the United States is serious about energy independence and climate change.”

The report, released by the Interagency Global Climate Research Program, is online at www.globalchange.gov/usimpacts.

— Colorado News Connection

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