Climate Change Implications for Nebraska

Report Cover

Globally, we face significant economic, social, and environmental risks as we confront the challenges associated with climate change. The magnitude and rapidity of the projected changes in climate are unprecedented, and their implications for the health of our planet and the legacy we will leave to our children, our grandchildren, and future generations are of vital concern. We need to develop strategies now to adapt to the changes, and this process must begin at the local level.

Understanding and Assessing Climate Change: Implications for Nebraska documents many of the key challenges that Nebraska will face as a result of climate change. Commentaries from experts on Nebraska's water resources, energy supply and use, agriculture, forests, health, ecosystems, urban systems and rural communities, and infrastructure and vulnerabilities raise serious concerns about the impacts of projected changes in climate, but they also provide a starting point for discussions about the actions that we can take to overcome these challenges.

CO2 and Temperature Trends
Global annual average temperature (as measured over both land and oceans; scale on left) has increased by more than 1.4°F (0.8°C) since 1880. Red bars show temperatures above the long-term average, and blue bars indicate temperatures below the long-term average. The black line shows atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in parts per million (ppm); scale on right. While there is a clear long-term global warming trend, some years do not show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others. These year-to-year fluctuations in temperature are due to natural processes, such as the effects of El Niños, La Niñas, and the eruption of large volcanoes. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC. Temperature data from NOAA NCDC 2012; CO2 data from NOAA ESRL 2012.)