When we mention climate change, we're talking about the long-term changes to our weather over several decades.
So, how is global warming impacting our climate? Every ten years the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - or the IPCC - puts out its report on the state of our climate. Scientists noted in the report that human influence has warmed the planet, and at this pace could increase the global average temperature by more than two and a half degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2050.
The report findings suggest this increase in temperature will impact our daily weather with things like more extreme heat and precipitation extremes leading to both more severe drought and flooding. Professor Gabriel Filippelli, the Executive Director of IU's Environmental Resilience Institute, tells us what he sees as the biggest impact from climate change on Central Indiana. He says, “Probably our biggest issue is extreme precipitation. So, these rainfall events, right, that have already become more extreme. We measured about a 15% increase since 1990, and they're expected to increase another 15% by 2050. So, flooding and water quality issues becomes one of our chief concerns here in Central Indiana.”
So, what can we do to have a positive impact on the climate here in the Hoosier State?
Professor Filippelli says his team is working with people to realize there are things they can do to deal with the current impacts of climate change. He says while things like riding a bike more, and driving your car less is great - on a bigger scale, it takes moving toward more renewable energy sources to curb the rate of future warming.