Climate Change and Recreation Appalachian Mountain Club With slides from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Wildlife Federation.
Topics Covered • What is climate change? • Why should we care? • What can you do?
Appalachian Mountain Club • 134 year history • Mission: recreation and education foster stewardship. • 20 years of research into how air quality effects our health and the health of our environment.
Climate Change is poised to fundamentally change the landscape in the Northeast… The greatest uncertainty is what are we going to do about it?
How Global Warming Works Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)
Example of the Greenhouse Effect The Sun’s energy passes through the car’s windshield. This energy (heat) is trapped inside the car and cannot pass back through the windshield, causing the inside of the car to warm up. Slide Courtesy of National Wildlife FederationUsed with Permission.
Weather vs. Climate • Difference is a measure of time • Weather refers to day-to-day conditions • Climate is a measure of how atmosphere behaves over time (30 year increments for example) Cartoon by Gerry McNabb. Source is NASA/NOAA http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html
ModeledChanges Heat Index How summers could feel in Massachusetts Yellow (Low Emissions) steps taken locally and nationally Red (High Emissions) no steps taken locally or nationally
Summer Heat Models Photo credit: Associated Press
Changes in Northeastern US • New England annual temps have warmed • Earlier flowering of spring plants • More extreme rain and snow • More extreme heat • Decreased winter snowpack* * Snowpack = minimum dusting of snow for 30 days or more.
Recreational Impacts • Paddlers • Too much water • Not enough water • Hikers • Eroded trails • Poor air quality • Cyclists • Poor urban air quality • Increased heat • Winter Sports • Diminished Snow pack
Meet the Climate Change Challenge Extent of change depends on the choices we make today • Find Your Voice • Save Energy
Find Your Voice • Tell your family and community what you know • Contact your elected leaders. Tell them that climate change is an important issue for you. Contact info at congress.org. • Monitor Local Climate Change. www.outdoors.org/mountainwatch
Find Your VoiceStrategies and Tools • Join AMC’s Conservation Action Network (www.outdoors.org/conservation) • Reduce Emissions • Through Behavior Changes • Federal Action w/ Targets • Cap and Trade • Renewables • Efficiency Standards • Technology • Renewables • Carbon sequestration
Save Energy 3° of Change for Individuals • 1° Small Everyday Changes • Turn it down, turn it off, layer up, carpool, conserve water. Visit LoseYourExcuse.gov for more ideas. • 2° Plan to make Bigger Changes • Evaluate your energy use, purchase energy efficient products • 3° Work with Others to help them Change • Teach, Listen, and Lead. Become and Citizen Scientist or learn to give this presentation (AMCmtnwatch@outdoors.org)
Save EnergyAMC’s Approach • Define AMC’s carbon footprint • Reduce emissions 80% by 2050 • Sustainable forest management • Spread the word to members, guests, and partners
AMC’s Progress to Date • Baseline emissions 2004-2005 1941 metric tons • 2008 – 1616 metric tons • Conservation • Efficiency • Behavioral changes • On track meet 2010 goal of 1538 tons • Saves money and saves environment
Save EnergyAMC’s Action Plan • Macro • Electricity generation • Transportation • Buildings • Forestry practices • Education • Policy work • Micro • Behaviors
Conclusions Climate change is affecting us right now where we live. • FIND YOUR VOICE • CONSERVE ENERGY TAKE SMALL STEPS…MAKE BIG CHANGES Join CAN: www.outdoors.org/conservation