Part 3—Analyze the Data

Step 1 –
Analyze Graphs to Interpret Variability

Examine the data in your graphs to answer the questions listed below each set of images.

min_temp max_temp

Examine the images above. Are minimum and maximum temperatures predicted to increase by roughly the same magnitude over the next hundred years?
The MN and CA minimum temperatures appear to increase about the same amount, but the Minnesota maximum temperatures will increase more than California's maximum.

min_temp

Examine the image above. Which state is predicted to have the greatest increases in minimum temperatures over the next century?
Minnesota.

max_temp

Examine the image above. Which state is predicted to have the smallest increase in maximum temperatures over the next 100 years?
California.

precip

Examine the image above. Which state is predicted to have the greatest increase in precipitation over the next hundred years?
California.

solar

What are the projections for solar radiation in the state that is predicted to see the greatest increase in precipitation? Does this make sense?
There appears to be lower annual solar radiation for California in modeled future predictions. Since the precipitation is expected to increase in CA, that would imply clouds, so potentially less sunlight would reach the land.

Step 2 –
Download and Graph Data for Your State

Place an order for temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation projections for your state through the year 2100. Graph the data and compare these graphs with other states.

Step 3 –
Explore the Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Your Region

The United States Global Change Research Program has information on the potential impacts of climate change on each of the regions. Explore the potential impacts of climate change on your region by accessing the United States Global Change Research Program website (more info) and then selecting your region on the U.S. map. You may also wish to research climate change impacts by sector from this site.

The EPA Climate Change website has additional information and includes links to what states are doing legislatively to respond to climate change. Other references and state resources are also provided. Explore the potential impacts of climate change on your region and state by accessing the EPA Climate Change website (more info) and then selecting from the links on the page.


Using the graphs you've just created and these published reports, consider these questions:
  • How might agriculture be affected (either positively or negatively) by the climate changes predicted for your state?
  • If the minimum temperatures rise enough, there could be an earlier start to the growing season, and it could last longer. If precipitation increases, agricultural productivity could also improve in areas where irrigation is used currently and make produce less expensive to grow. Too much precipitation could cause pest problems, however, like fungus.
  • What are the projected impacts on forestry on your state?
  • Higher temperatures could cause species to migrate north, as seems to be happening with the sugar maple, for example. Pests could be more abundant in warmer (longer growing season) locations.
  • What other industries in your state might be affected by the climate changes predicted for your state?
  • States which have a ski industry could see a decline if there are warmer temperatures or less precipitation. Many other industries also rely on a good source of water, so decreases in precipitation could cause industries to relocate.
  • What human-health related impacts might occur as a result of predicted increases in temperature in the next century?
    • Increased temperatures may cause increases in deaths due to heat stress.
    • Less precipitation could cause insufficient water supply for some borderline desert environments and make potable water harder to find, or more costly to produce (if desalinated), and bacterial contamination could occur without sufficient water - especially in food processing plants.
    • Very warm summer temperatures already contribute to "bad air" days (due to high pollution) in which asthma sufferers and even healthy people are advised to remain indoors to lessen the chance of lung damage. Warming temperatures would exacerbate this issue.