A United Nations weather agency says there may be irreversible damage to the planet due to global warming, and a new center in Tucson has been drafting plans for how people could survive these changes.
The report, released Monday by the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, said 2013 was the sixth hottest year on record since 1850.
Michel Jarraud, head of the WMO, said the most recent data on climate change points to an continuation of extreme weather all over the world, including severe drought, frequent hurricanes, floods and unusually powerful storms.
Here in the Old Pueblo, the newly-formed Center for Climate Adaptation Sciences and Solutions, has been drafting possible survival plans in case this happens.
Kathy Jacobs, the center's director, and a UA professor who recently served as assistant director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, said that, although the future is never certain, high carbon emissions caused by industrialization will have negative effects on the environment for centuries.
“We’re looking to help people make decisions about how to protect their businesses, their homes, and natural resources," she said. "The future is not perfectly clear to us at this point, but we absolutely know that it will continue to get warmer on average across the globe and we’re already seeing some of those impacts today."
Jacobs also said Arizona can take action now to prepare for these environmental changes, including securing our water supply and limiting the chances of wildfires.