The effect of global warming in the Mid-South

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One study found that Shelby County could experience 113 days per year with temperatures of at least 90 degrees less than 60 years from now if steps are not taken now to prevent global warming.  

Mac Post, retired chairman with the Sierra Club in Tennessee, talked to WREG about what that means for those living here now, and whether it can be turned around.

“It’s getting too late,” Post said. “We’ve been burning fossil fuels since the middle of the1800s andf that has accumulated in the atmosphere. Back then it was about 350 parts per million and right now it’s about 420, so it has risen 30% due to man’s activities. Eighty percent is due to fossil fuels, and a certain percentage is due to land use changes.”

But there is reason for hope, Post said. Renewable energy has come on strong in the past decade with wind, solar and hydroelectric energy sources now cheaper than building fossil fuel plants. Those sources can now provide much of the world’s energy needs.

It’s hard to change an economy built on fossil fuels overnight, Post said. More aggressive measures are needed.

Statistically, models show we’ll have much more frequent warm and hot spells. Some places in the Arctic Circle have seen temperatures in excess of 115 degrees this year, Post said.

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