Tucson Climate Center Teaches How To Adapt To Environmental Changes

By Amanda Le Claire- Arizona Public Media
March 25, 2014

The U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said global warming may be causing irreversible damage to the planet. A new agency in Tucson is teaching people how to adapt to major changes in the environment.

According to the U.N.’s report, 2013 was the sixth hottest year since weather records began in 1850.

Michel Jarraud, head of the World Meteorological Organization, said the most recent data on climate change points to a continuation of extreme weather all over the world, including severe droughts, frequent hurricanes, floods and unusually powerful storms.

In Tucson, the newly formed Center for Climate Adaptation Sciences and Solutions will draft plans for how people can survive these changes. Kathy Jacobs is the center’s director. She is a University of Arizona professor who recently served as assistant director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology. She said while the planet’s future is not exactly written in stone, the cost of industrialization, especially high carbon emissions, will affect the environment for many years to come.

“We’re looking to help people make decisions about how to protect their businesses, their homes, and natural resources. The future is not perfectly clear to us at this point, but we absolutely know that it will continue to get warmer on average across the globe and we’re already seeing some of those impacts today," said Jacobs.

Jacobs said Arizonans can take action now to prepare for changes, including securing our water supply and limiting the chance of wildfires.