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The earth’s climate is changing. Global average temperatures have risen 1.8°F since 1901 (Wuebbles et al. 2017). Warming temperatures are driving other environmental changes such as melting glaciers, rising sea levels, changes in precipitation patterns, and increased drought and wildfires. The magnitude of future changes will depend on the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) (particularly carbon dioxide) emitted into our atmosphere. Without significant reductions in GHGs, global average temperatures could rise as much as 9°F over pre-industrial temperatures by the end of this century. Even with drastic reductions in emissions, we could limit the warming to 3.6°F or less (Wuebbles et al. 2017). Coconino County has been experiencing climate changes as well. Average temperatures have been rising, particularly in the last 30 years. The region is likely to see fewer cold days and more hot days in the coming decades. And annual average temperatures could rise even more than the global average – possibly more than 10°F higher than the long-term average in the region.
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