Global warming is one of our toughest environmental challenges, threatening the health
of people, wildlife and economies around the world. The United States is the leading
global warming polluter: with only 4 percent of the world’s population, we produce 25
percent of the carbon dioxide pollution.
The problem is carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollution -- mainly from cars,
power plants and other industrial sources that burn fossil fuels -- collecting like a blanket
in the atmosphere. As a result, the planet is getting warmer. The Earth’s surface
temperature has risen by 1.60 F in the past century, with accelerated warming during the
past two decades, and 2006 was the warmest year on record in the United States.
Global Warming in Alabama
• Alabama’s Coastal Birding Trail, which draws
thousands of birdwatchers each year to sites
along the Gulf Coast such as Dauphin Island
Audubon Sanctuary, is at significant risk for
habitat change due to increases in temperatures
and rising sea levels. The warmer temperatures
may also cause the hardwood forests of northern
Alabama to be replaced by pastures and grasslands.
• Rapid temperature increases, flooding and
changes in rainfall may lead to losses of landscape,
prime real estate, water quality and species diversity
in natural areas like the Sipsey Wilderness Area.
• Catastrophic storms, like Hurricane Ivan, and thunder storms may occur with greater
intensity as the climate changes, contributing to excessive erosion, flooding, loss of
human life, devastating losses to property and increases in insurance costs to residents
throughout the state.
• Hotter, more humid conditions will likely encourage the spread of tropical diseases, may
increase heat-related illnesses and death from more frequent heat waves, and may
exacerbate smog levels across the state.
What it is, how it’s caused, and
what needs to be done to stop it.
Snowy egret in the marshes along
Alabama’s Coastal Birding Trail
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