Just the consideration of a changing global climate is confusing and bewildering. What is happening?
What will this world be like for our children and our children's children? Are we the cause of the problem
or is our planet cycling through a natural process we know little to nothing about? To compound the confusion,
the briefest of internet searches will return a dizzying amount of information, much of which appears contradictory.
There is little doubt that our planet is warming. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) data, the Earth's
average surface temperature has increased by about 1.2° to 1.4° Fahrenheit in the past 100 years.
The eight warmest years on record since 1850 have all occurred in the past 10 years. Regardless of the cause,
whether it be anthropogenic (human made) or a naturally occurring cycle, the warming of our planet has consequences for us all.
For those of us who call Florida home, the potential consequences are particularly important.
The entire state of Florida is at a low elevation, and 80% of its population lives within 10 miles of the coast.
Surrounded as it is by water, our state will see a dramatic change in geography with any rise in sea level
(see graphic below), not to mention the economic effects on agriculture and industry, and on our water supply.
Although the Governor's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change, created by former Governor Charlie Crist in 2008, has
now been abolished, counties and municipalities recognize Florida's vital interest in climate change
and continue to make contingency plans for its anticipated effects. Below you will find some helpful links
to important information about climate change and what is at stake for Florida.