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Response to NOAA Statement

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The American Meteorological Society fully supports our colleagues at NOAA, who consistently put the safety of the American public first and foremost. They work tirelessly employing state of the art science to keep Americans safe. With respect to the press release that was issued by NOAA on Friday, 6 September, regarding the forecast of Hurricane Dorian, AMS believes the criticism of the Birmingham forecast office is unwarranted; rather they should have been commended for their quick action based on science in clearly communicating the lack of threat to the citizens of Alabama.

Prepare for more downpours: Heavy rain has increased across most of the United States, and is likely to increase further

                      Precipitation Map

Warming conditions mean more evaporation, which leads to more water vapor in the air. When rain-triggering conditions are favorable, more saturated air leads to heavier precipitation. This has been the story across most of the United States in the past century. Extreme precipitation events have grown more frequent since the start of the twentieth century, and such events are likely to become even more frequent over the twenty-first.

Adapted from Figure 2.6 in the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), these maps show observed and predicted changes in heavy precipitation events—those bouts of heavy rain or snow ranking among the top 1 percent (99th percentile) of daily events. All four maps use the same color scale. Percentage changes below 0 (decreases) are pale yellow, and increases appear in shades of pale green (smallest) to navy blue (greatest).

The maps of observed changes cover two time periods, 1901–2016 and 1958–2016, and display uniform percentage changes by region: Northwest, Southwest, Northern Great Plains, Southern Great Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Because the latter half of the twentieth century had denser weather station coverage, different methods have been used to calculate changes. The change from 1901–2016 reflects the difference between 1901–1960 and 1986–2016. The change from 1958–2016 shows the linear trend over that period. (The high-resolution image for 1958–2016 also shows observed changes in Alaska and Hawaii.)

Read more on RNRF's blog, the Renewable Resources Report, by clicking here.


Harvard University's Environmental Policy Initiative is tracking the Trump Administration's environmental rollbacks.  Click here to learn more.


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Save the Date
RNRF Congress on Charting a New Course for the Mississippi River Watershed


December 3, 2019
American Geophysical Union
2000 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009

RNRF is pleased to announce our upcoming congress on "Charting a New Course for the Mississippi River Watershed."

The Mississippi River watershed routinely experiences severe flooding events, causing damage to infrastructure, agriculture, the economy, and the environment. Now, climate change is exacerbating this flooding, guaranteeing that the situation will only get worse in the future. A new, radical course needs to be charted. RNRF congress speakers and delegates will discuss impacts of the new climate normal, reimagine management for different sectors of the watershed, and examine the stubborn and long-standing impediments to sustainably managing resources within the watershed.

Registration will open in the coming weeks. Mark your calendars!

WRI’s David Waskow Discusses Paris Agreement’s Implementation

David WaskowDavid Waskow, director of the World Resources Institute’s International Climate Initiative, spoke at a meeting of the RNRF Washington Round Table on Public Policy on September 11. The meeting was hosted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

The goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement is to keep global heating under 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and to pursue efforts to keep it under 1.5 degrees. Under its framework, each country has put forth a set of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to work toward this goal. These are statements of intended reductions to greenhouse gas emissions, and in many cases, intended improvements in resilience to climate change. The ambition of these contributions, and countries’ adherence to them, are fundamentally important to the success of the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, the current set of NDCs that have been agreed upon are not sufficiently ambitious to keep global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, much less 1.5. This means that, if the agreement is to be successful in halting climate change, not only must countries adhere to their current commitments, they must also increase ambition.

Recognizing this deficiency, the Paris Agreement lays out a series of five-year cycles to bring countries “back to the table” to increase their ambition and strengthen their NDCs. The first such reevaluation will take place in 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland, making next year a focal point of international climate negotiations. The strengthening of NDCs, or lack thereof, in the coming months will potentially have a huge impact on future heating scenarios.

In addition to NDCs, the Agreement also asks countries to bring forth “long-term strategies,” through which they can articulate their intended trajectories out to 2050. Ideally, these trajectories will map out a plan for countries to reach net-zero carbon emissions by then. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body dedicated to bringing an objective, scientific view of climate change, concluded that this level of ambition is necessary for there to be a chance that warming will stay below 1.5 degrees. It is expected that these updated long-term strategies and NDCs will be presented officially at COP26 in Glasgow in 2020. Activities during 2019 have been developed to prepare participating nations to present more ambitious outcomes in 2020....

Read more on RNRF's news page here.


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LATEST ISSUE - Renewable Resources Journal - National Climate Assessment and Management of the Colorado River
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RNRF Award

RNRF AWARDS PROGRAM - RNRF congratulates the winners of its annual awards. More information on the awards and this year's recipients can be found on RNRF's Awards page here.

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