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Federal Report on Climate Warns of Adverse Effect on Wildlife

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January 16, 2013

Federal Report on Climate Warns of Adverse Effect on Wildlife

By Bob Marshall

Must reading for sportsmen and other conservationists: The draft report of the latest National Climate Assessment.

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 requires an assessment report at least every four years. It is put together by the 60-member federal National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, whose work was reviewed by the National Academies of Science.

The news isn’t good: the climate is rapidly warming, sea rise is accelerating, oceans are acidifying, and wildlife populations are being displaced as habitat changes - and all of this is conclusively proven to be human caused, primarily though the use of fossil fuels.

Of course, none of this is news to sportsmen. While some have tried to discredit the science with politics, hunters and anglers were among the first segments of our society to ring alarm bells, citing field observations to back up their concerns and their belief in the science spelling out this environmental disaster.

This latest report continues the steady intensification of warnings and rock-solid conclusions about causes and impacts that have been a trend throughout its existence. (Earlier reports can be found at the U.S. Global Change Research Program site.)

This draft, plus appendices, is more than 1000 pages long, all of it important to the future shape of public hunting and fishing in the U.S. - not to mention human health and living standards. But reading the Executive Summary and the 11 key Report Findings will give sportsmen a good overview of where we stand - and where we’re headed, unless action is taken soon to seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Of particular interest to outdoors people of every type are these two findings.

- Global climate is changing, and this is apparent across the U.S. in a wide range of observations. The climate change of the past 50 years is due primarily to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels.

U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895, with more than 80% of this increase occurring since 1980. The most recent decade was the nation’s warmest on record. Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, rising temperatures are not evenly distributed across the country or over time.

- Natural ecosystems are being directly affected by climate change, including changes in biodiversity and location of species. As a result, the capacity of ecosystems to moderate the consequences of disturbances such as droughts, floods, and severe storms is being diminished.

In addition to climate changes that directly affect habitats, events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and pest outbreaks associated with climate change are already disrupting ecosystem structures and functions in a variety of direct and indirect ways. These changes limit the capacity of ecosystems such as forests, barrier beaches, coastal wetlands, and freshwater wetlands to adapt and continue to play important roles in reducing the impacts of these extreme events on infrastructure, human communities, and other valued resources.

Comments (14)

Top Rated
All Comments
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

It isn't true. I'll tell you why all this "insurmountable evidence" is wrong: It snowed today and plus, I read on a blog that the earth goes through natural cycles. I'll stop there... That's enough proof for me! Nevermind what the world's scientists say. I also read on a message board that Al Gore secretly purchased Field & Stream and sends Bob Marshall payments directly from his personal checking account. Nice try!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Todd Tanner wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

My sincere thanks to Bob Marshall for a great post. As Bob points out, hunters & anglers have been seeing the initial impacts of climate change for quite a while. Now we have to stand up and convince our Senators and Representatives that it's time to address this looming threat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from treelimit wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Oh, Bob. You poor man.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Bob this is all well and good. And being aware of the problem is great. I doubt there are many left who could be called climate deniers when one strips away the politics. The problem I have is in getting anything done.

Everyone want someone else to do the heavy lifting.

Try bringing up the concept of not flying to hunt and fish. You'll get a big ol silence. Even from advocacy groups as Conservation Hawks. Everyone wants someone else to give up something but no one is willing to change the way they themselves do things.

While I type I am staring at an advertisement for a Toyota Tundra above this box, "overbuilt" it says. Do I need an overbuilt four door 3000 lb hunk of metal to go shoot some meat? I don't think so.

I'm waiting for the day states stop issuing out of state licenses, or add a climate destroying surcharge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

On average that flight makes up about 15% of your overall carbon emissions/year. I just looked up some numbers and it looks like flying produces twice as many carbon emissions than taking the train.

But I agree with you rock rat, bringing up that concept would be discouraging for those unwilling to compromise to that extent and that's fine. It's not all or nothing. We have to be realistic here. Not everyone is going to live like Cody Lundin from that show Dual Survival. There's still plenty of other ways to reduce your personal impact. We also can't overlook the importance of demanding action from our political leaders and the private sector.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rgw3 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

So Bob, what caused the end of the last ice age? Was it wooly mammoths driving SUV's?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bj264 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Rgw3 you are dead on. Im so tired of the sky is falling Al Gore sheeple. Anyone with any amount of education knows the earth has cycles. It sickens me that Field and Stream gives people like this a stage for their political agenda... makes me rethink my subscriptions to this mag as well as Outdoor Life. Much more of this B.S. and the mag subscriptions and web site visits will stop for me..

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bj264 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

maby I just need to take my buisness to Petersons?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I have a feeling that if Al Gore wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post to express his love for tacos- bj264 would stop eating tacos and go so far as to boycott all Mexican restaurants. Does that sound stupid? Well that's because it is. It's just as stupid as denying the existence of climate change out of political spite.

Are you guys the modern version of those claiming water fluoridation to be a communist ploy?

Out of the 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change from January 1991 to November 2012, 24 of them reject climate change or deny the link between CO2 emissions and the acceleration of warming. That's .17%.

And despite the mounting evidence, you continue to ignore reality.

Al Gore isn't responsible for 2012 being the warmest year on record for the United States, ocean acidification, persisting droughts, forest fires, melting glaciers, increasingly extreme weather events and so forth.

What would it take for you to finally give in and accept reality or at the very least, err on the side of caution... you know, just in case this whole thing starts panning out the way they're suggesting it will. It's already clear, but apparently not clear enough for you.

Are the global economy, our food, water and health important enough to you? If they are, I think we should listen to the overwhelming majority of climate experts and put politics aside.

Is your disdain of Al Gore and any issue deemed "liberal" more important than protecting the future of your country? If your answer is yes, then your patriotism should be put into question.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Rgw and bj2: you're in denial.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Todd Tanner wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Rock Rat,

Just a quick follow up on Conservation Hawks. CH believes that concerned hunters and anglers should practice what they preach, which is why there’s an Individual Action page on the CH website with 17 different tips for lowering personal energy use and limiting greenhouse gas emissions. (As an added benefit, those tips can help sportsmen save money at the same time they reduce energy use and emissions.)

As the website says, “We need to make dramatic changes if we’re going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Personal conservation measures aren’t going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions enough to defend our sporting heritage and pass along a healthy natural world to our kids and grandkids, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all do our part.” You can can look under the Take Action tab for more information on individual actions.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RiverRunner2013 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Trust me, I'm probably more guilty than most when it comes to driving over creation to cover rivers & watersheds. Its a bit of an obsession. But when you think about the billions (trillions?) of tons of particulates & gases released each year by us.... where does it all go? Ever consider how small our life supporting atmosphere actually is? ...a couple of miles is it. The releases can't escape into space so they just build up on land, air, and in water. It would be interesting to see if there was a change in our attitude (and policy) if more of us could travel into space, sit in the empty abyss and look at our small blue planet fron a short distance away. Might bring perspective to our hubris.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

Sustainability does not mean we need to abandon our standard of living. We can have wealth, sustainable incomes, even low rates of economic growth, as long as we're energy smart and as we make increasing use of solar power, especially, and also biomethane and bioheating. Smart management of garbage alone could generate a stunning amount of recoverable energy.

What we CANNOT have is unlimited expansion of urban and suburban areas; that means we should not subsidize population growth, nor should we subsidize "development" just for the sake of increasing the flow of the river of cash into government coffers. And while farm subsidies may be good for increasing America's food security, it's stupid to subsidize "biofuels." Ethanol is a fool's errand.
.
Want to save the USA even if you can't save the world? Stop exporting our national resources. Save them to secure America's future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from E.J.H wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

Maybe it's China's giant smog pollution, they can't even see when it's at its worst.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I have a feeling that if Al Gore wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post to express his love for tacos- bj264 would stop eating tacos and go so far as to boycott all Mexican restaurants. Does that sound stupid? Well that's because it is. It's just as stupid as denying the existence of climate change out of political spite.

Are you guys the modern version of those claiming water fluoridation to be a communist ploy?

Out of the 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change from January 1991 to November 2012, 24 of them reject climate change or deny the link between CO2 emissions and the acceleration of warming. That's .17%.

And despite the mounting evidence, you continue to ignore reality.

Al Gore isn't responsible for 2012 being the warmest year on record for the United States, ocean acidification, persisting droughts, forest fires, melting glaciers, increasingly extreme weather events and so forth.

What would it take for you to finally give in and accept reality or at the very least, err on the side of caution... you know, just in case this whole thing starts panning out the way they're suggesting it will. It's already clear, but apparently not clear enough for you.

Are the global economy, our food, water and health important enough to you? If they are, I think we should listen to the overwhelming majority of climate experts and put politics aside.

Is your disdain of Al Gore and any issue deemed "liberal" more important than protecting the future of your country? If your answer is yes, then your patriotism should be put into question.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Todd Tanner wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

My sincere thanks to Bob Marshall for a great post. As Bob points out, hunters & anglers have been seeing the initial impacts of climate change for quite a while. Now we have to stand up and convince our Senators and Representatives that it's time to address this looming threat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Rgw and bj2: you're in denial.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Todd Tanner wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Rock Rat,

Just a quick follow up on Conservation Hawks. CH believes that concerned hunters and anglers should practice what they preach, which is why there’s an Individual Action page on the CH website with 17 different tips for lowering personal energy use and limiting greenhouse gas emissions. (As an added benefit, those tips can help sportsmen save money at the same time they reduce energy use and emissions.)

As the website says, “We need to make dramatic changes if we’re going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Personal conservation measures aren’t going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions enough to defend our sporting heritage and pass along a healthy natural world to our kids and grandkids, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all do our part.” You can can look under the Take Action tab for more information on individual actions.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RiverRunner2013 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Trust me, I'm probably more guilty than most when it comes to driving over creation to cover rivers & watersheds. Its a bit of an obsession. But when you think about the billions (trillions?) of tons of particulates & gases released each year by us.... where does it all go? Ever consider how small our life supporting atmosphere actually is? ...a couple of miles is it. The releases can't escape into space so they just build up on land, air, and in water. It would be interesting to see if there was a change in our attitude (and policy) if more of us could travel into space, sit in the empty abyss and look at our small blue planet fron a short distance away. Might bring perspective to our hubris.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

It isn't true. I'll tell you why all this "insurmountable evidence" is wrong: It snowed today and plus, I read on a blog that the earth goes through natural cycles. I'll stop there... That's enough proof for me! Nevermind what the world's scientists say. I also read on a message board that Al Gore secretly purchased Field & Stream and sends Bob Marshall payments directly from his personal checking account. Nice try!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Bob this is all well and good. And being aware of the problem is great. I doubt there are many left who could be called climate deniers when one strips away the politics. The problem I have is in getting anything done.

Everyone want someone else to do the heavy lifting.

Try bringing up the concept of not flying to hunt and fish. You'll get a big ol silence. Even from advocacy groups as Conservation Hawks. Everyone wants someone else to give up something but no one is willing to change the way they themselves do things.

While I type I am staring at an advertisement for a Toyota Tundra above this box, "overbuilt" it says. Do I need an overbuilt four door 3000 lb hunk of metal to go shoot some meat? I don't think so.

I'm waiting for the day states stop issuing out of state licenses, or add a climate destroying surcharge.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

On average that flight makes up about 15% of your overall carbon emissions/year. I just looked up some numbers and it looks like flying produces twice as many carbon emissions than taking the train.

But I agree with you rock rat, bringing up that concept would be discouraging for those unwilling to compromise to that extent and that's fine. It's not all or nothing. We have to be realistic here. Not everyone is going to live like Cody Lundin from that show Dual Survival. There's still plenty of other ways to reduce your personal impact. We also can't overlook the importance of demanding action from our political leaders and the private sector.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bj264 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

maby I just need to take my buisness to Petersons?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

Sustainability does not mean we need to abandon our standard of living. We can have wealth, sustainable incomes, even low rates of economic growth, as long as we're energy smart and as we make increasing use of solar power, especially, and also biomethane and bioheating. Smart management of garbage alone could generate a stunning amount of recoverable energy.

What we CANNOT have is unlimited expansion of urban and suburban areas; that means we should not subsidize population growth, nor should we subsidize "development" just for the sake of increasing the flow of the river of cash into government coffers. And while farm subsidies may be good for increasing America's food security, it's stupid to subsidize "biofuels." Ethanol is a fool's errand.
.
Want to save the USA even if you can't save the world? Stop exporting our national resources. Save them to secure America's future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from E.J.H wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

Maybe it's China's giant smog pollution, they can't even see when it's at its worst.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rgw3 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

So Bob, what caused the end of the last ice age? Was it wooly mammoths driving SUV's?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bj264 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Rgw3 you are dead on. Im so tired of the sky is falling Al Gore sheeple. Anyone with any amount of education knows the earth has cycles. It sickens me that Field and Stream gives people like this a stage for their political agenda... makes me rethink my subscriptions to this mag as well as Outdoor Life. Much more of this B.S. and the mag subscriptions and web site visits will stop for me..

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from treelimit wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Oh, Bob. You poor man.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment