|The Earth’s weather patterns and climate zones are changing1. The burning of fossil fuels over the last 200 years coupled with factors such as increased deforestation has increased the concentrations of greenhouse gasses that trap heat into the atmosphere and warmed the earth approximately 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in 100 years1. While this does not appear to be a significant change, it has led to an increase in sea level and a continued rise in temperature holds negative implications for water resources, costal zones, weather patterns and human and environmental health1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports on the conditions and mitigation of climate change2.
An additional concern is that of agriculture and food safety, as agriculture relies heavily on climate and weather patterns. With increased floods, droughts, sever storms along with acid rain, increased levels of carbon dioxide, ground level ozone, and changes in temperature, agriculture stability is put at risk1. Because of these changes, crop yields are compromised. Pests and diseases may be able to survive better in these differing conditions, contributing negatively to plant and animal production1.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County have resolved to reduce local carbon emissions by 80 percent by 20503. By their estimates, the city’s people have taken steps to reduce carbon emissions by riding bikes, using public transportation, and reducing both vehicle miles traveled and household energy use since 19903.
|Climate Change / Cambio Climático Translation Needed
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1. Environmental Protection Agency (2009) Climate Change. Available at www.epa.gov/climatechange/ (accessed August 2009).
2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2009) the IPCC Assessment Reports. Available at www.ipcc.ch/ (accessed August 2009).
3. City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (2009) Climate Action Plan 20090. Available at www.portlandonline.com/bps./ (accessed August 2009).