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Super Climate Showdown

On Sunday, February 3rd, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams hit the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to go head-to-head in the Super Bowl. Before one of these teams takes home the big trophy, discover the impacts each team's state is experiencing from a changing climate. Massachusetts, the home region of the New England Patriots, is experiencing earlier springs and increases in salt water intrusionprecipitation, and hotter summers. California, the home state of the Los Angeles Rams, is experiencing increases in extreme heatsea level rise, and wildfires

    MASSACHUSETTS

    • Massachusetts has warmed by more than two degrees Fahrenheit in the last century.
    • In the Northeast, average annual precipitation increased 10% from 1895 to 2011 and precipitation from extremely heavy storms has increased 70% since 1958.

    Rising temperatures and shifting seasons are likely to increase the intensity of droughts and floods. As snow melts earlier in the spring and temperatures increase, soil will become drier in the summer and fall and the likelihood of flooding in the winter and spring and droughts during the summer and fall will increase. This shift in seasons and increase in temperatures can also lengthen the season during which insects that transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile Virus are active. 

    California

    • California has warmed about three degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. 
    • Sea level rise and storm surge could completely erode two-thirds of southern California beaches by 2100. 
    • Ocean waters off the coast of California and around the globe have warmed 0.6° to 0.8ºF from 1971 to 2010.

    Heatwaves have become more more frequent and less snowpack is available in the spring and winter to generate hydropower. Higher temperatures and drought are likely to cause an increase in severity, frequency, and extent of wildfires. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, fire frequency could increase 25% and the frequency of very large fires could triple across the Southwest region of the US. Ocean warming off the coast of California has contributed to increases in harmful algal blooms and ocean acidification which affects marine life, fisheries, and tourism. 

    WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    Sources:

    • EPA. 2016. "What Climate Change Means for Georgia." Accessed January 29, 2019. https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/climate-change-ga.pdf
    • EPA. 2016. "What Climate Change Means for California." Accessed January 29, 2019. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/climate-change-ca.pdf
    • NOAA. 2016. “Sea Level Trends”. Accessed January 29, 2019.  http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html
    • USGCRP. 2018. "National Climate Assessment: Southwest." Accessed January 29, 2019. https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/25/
    • USGCRP. 2014. "National Climate Assessment: Northeast." Accessed January 29, 2019. http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/northeast
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