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Report: Climate Change Will Affect Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 May 2014 03:36pm | comments
Stronger hurricanes, bigger floods, and longer droughts are all in Mississippi future. That's according to a new report on the impact of climate change. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the new National Climate Assessment says the environment is getting hotter and that will change Mississippi's climate.
Some of the projected impacts are more intense storms and hurricanes, greater rain fall leading to larger floods and longer, hotter droughts affecting agriculture. 
Kevin Trenberth with the National Center for Atmospheric research says the reason is a hotter climate
"When it rains it pours. When it rains it is apt to rain a little bit hard. but also the dry spells in between are apt to be a little bit longer," Trenberth said.
Trenberth also says heavier rain nationwide will contribute to larger floods on the Mississippi river.
A close look at the report shows that parts of Mississippi and Alabama are the only parts of the country that saw a decline in average temperature over the past 22 years.
Ternberth says that is connected to the increase in rain and clouds lowering temperatures on select days.
"it is a pretty unique spot. There is only about two spots in the northern hemisphere where that kind of thing has occurred. And you are in one of them. So very unlikely to continue that way," Trenberth said. 
David Rutherford with the University of Mississippi says there is strong evidence that temperatures have increased over the decades.
But he is also skeptical about the projections saying previous forecasts have been proven wrong.
"Those projections...there is some questionability about their certainty. We can differently see that there has been increased temperatures in the southeast," Rutherford said.
Rutherford says the measured increase in temperature could still have substantial consequences for the state's economy through severe weather damage or harms to the agriculture industry.
One other potential problem-water wars, as Mississippi and surrounding states vie for a diminishing supply of fresh water.




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