A new study, published in the journal Nature, on April 21, suggests that global warming, instead of having catastrophic consequences, it is actually making Americans like the current U.S. weather, since they consider it more pleasant than it was decades ago and, therefore, they do not consider climate change a big threat to the planet, yet.
The researchers of the study, Patrick Egan, a public policy professor at New York University, and Megan Mullin, an environmental policy professor at Duke University, found, while looking into seasonal temperature changes since 1974, 80 percent of Americans live in counties that are having nicer weather, rather that experiencing the bad consequences of global warming, compared to 40 years ago.
Egan, the lead author of the study, said that “Americans are getting the wrong signal from year-round weather about whether they should be concerned about climate change. They’re getting the good parts and haven’t had to pay the price of the bad part.”
People have been experiencing warmer winters and less humid but not-so-hot summers since winters have warmed 1 degree Fahrenheit a decade, and only seventh of a degree a decade in the summer, the study found.
“In terms of large population centers where people have not experienced improved conditions, they are clustered in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and parts of southern California and Arizona,” Duke University environmental politics professor Megan Mullin said.
In last four decades, Miami and Pittsburg trended as the places with the nicer weather in the US. Also, San Diego and Phoenix topped the chart of the new index. At the bottom are Cleveland and Detroit.
According to the authors of the letter, the change in the U.S. weather is giving the wrong signal to people in the United States over global warming real consequences. Meanwhile, people are enjoying the benefits of climate change; they do not understand that there will be many catastrophic disadvantages in the long run, too. The author added that these benefits are temporary, but these benefits could prevent people from taking climate change as seriously as they should.
Scientists are predicting catastrophic effects from global climate change including rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, more droughts and heat waves, stronger hurricanes, different precipitation patterns, glacial melting and sea ice loss, as well as triggering droughts, floods, and heavy rainfalls; which will make food and water scarce; and spread insect-borne diseases.
People have to control heat-trapping gasses, because if they are not controlled now, they may pose the threat to more than 90% Americans, said the study authors. They added that such threats mean that by the end of this year, most of the U.S. citizens will be forced to live in a lot hotter weather, especially in the summer.
“Climate change models predict that this trend is temporary, however, because U.S. summers will eventually warm more than winters,” said the authors in their letter, to send a clear message about global warming problems.