Climate change is a problem that most of the nations in the world are attempting to address. As the temperature around the world continues to rise, state and local governments are trying to asses what the impact of climate change will be upon their areas. A report has just been issued from Purdue University that gives some idea of how climate change might work itself out in Indiana.
The Indiana Climate Change Impact Assessment states that the average temperature in the state of Indiana has risen by 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 100 years. If the temperature continues to rise, the scientists who prepared the assessment believe that it will have an impact on the state’s forests.
With a longer growing season and warmer temperatures, the state’s forests may flourish and have more intense growth. The silver maple and the sycamore trees would benefit most from rising temperatures. However, the American basswood and the white pine might actually be damaged by too much warmth.
Scientists warn that any gains for the forests have to be measured against the fact that an increase in temperatures would also cause an increase in the insect levels in the state. These insects could invade trees causing considerable damage.
Flooding and more intense storms are also a concern. The state is already experiencing more flooding than in past years, and this flooding can be expected to continue and intensify as temperatures in the state continue to soar.
Mother Earth is a fickle sort of maternal figure, one that would just as soon yell at the Principal on a child’s behalf as she’d hurl a slipper at said child. Recent predictions from weather services in Indiana bode well for the states expansive forest areas but cast a shadow of uncertainty over the seasons.
Purdue University has been engaged in a prolonged study known as the Indiana Climate Change Impact Assessment. Recently, the prestigious university has released a dossier that bears warnings of droughts during the summer and flooding during the spring. Discovery of this possible see-saw of climate arrived through painstaking effort by staff at Purdue and a coalition of several other Indiana schools. Even the U.S. Forest Service has gotten in this study, making the news of this ambiguous fate a truly collaborative effort.
Jeffrey Dukes is a director at yet another prestigious component of the study, the Climate Change Research Center. In a statement given to Indiana Business Journal, Dukes gave some straightforward advice to the population at large:
“In order to maintain these resources and preserve them for future generations, we have to understand the potential effects of climate change and act on them now.”
The phrase “potential effects” seems benign when taken at face value. However, the assessment highlights repercussions of seemingly positive by-products of climate change, such as the increases in precipitation throughout the seasons leading to erosion and soil deterioration.