Climate Report: Hotter Weather, Heavier Rainfall for Indiana

Posted On May 07, 2014

By Mary Kuhlman, Indiana News Service


Scorching heat waves combined with heavier rainfall events are among the effects of climate change in store for Indiana, according to the new 2014 National Climate Assessment.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A new federal report finds climate change is real, it’s human-caused, and it’s impacting Indiana.

According to the National Climate Assessment, the average temperature in the United States has increased by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, with 80 percent of that increase occurring over the last three decades.

Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council who co-authored the human health chapter of the report, said the research confirms that climate change is caused by human-caused carbon pollution and already is harming the country.

“We really can’t afford to lose another decade in dealing with the issue of climate change,” Knowlton said. “So, we’re now at the point where we have so much information – so much evidence – we can no longer plead ignorance. There’s a lot that we can do both to prepare and reduce heat-trapping carbon pollution.”

According to the report, Indiana is experiencing warmer temperatures, heavier rainfall events, and flooding due to climate change. It details other effects across the country, including drought and wildfires.

Jeffery Dukes, a professor and executive director of Purdue University’s Climate Change Research Center, said agriculture will likely suffer from the combination of heavier rainfall, flooding and warmer temperatures caused by climate change.

“We’re understanding more and more that many of our crops have threshold temperatures, where they really don’t like to be warmer than a certain temperature, and we start losing yield once you pass those thresholds. And we could be doing that more and more as the climate warms.”

The report was mandated by Congress and compiled by nearly 300 climate scientists and experts. On Tuesday, President Obama responded to the findings by renewing an urgent call for action to fight climate change.

The report is online at globalchange.gov.