The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies released a new report
New paleo-temperature reconstructions indicate that the average temperature of the last few decades across temperate North America was the highest of any period in the past 1,500 years (NCA4, vol. 1, p.188). Depending on the region and scenario, temperatures are predicted to rise another 3.4–5.3°F (1.9–2.9°C) by mid-century (2036–2065) and 4.4–9.5°F (2.4–5.3°C) by late-century (2071–2100) (NCA4, Vol.I, p. 197, Fig. 3). In the contiguous United States, the Midwest is projected to have the highest increases and Southeast the lowest. Alaska’s surface temperatures are projected to continue to increase faster than the global mean (NCA4, Vol. 1, p. 305), which is particularly alarming considering the feedback potential of melting permafrost.
Plastic waste is a difficult global problem that is exacerbating, and being exacerbated by, climate change. New research has shown that as plastics break down, they also emit methane and ethylene, which are powerful greenhouse gases (Royer et al. 2018). In addition, as climate change impacts ocean circulation, this will impact the abundance and distribution of marine plastic pollution, of which the implications to coastal communities and ecosystems are still not well understood (Welden and Lusher 2017). Reduction of plastic pollution will benefit the climate and the health of people, fish, wildlife, and ecosystems.