- Heavy Downpours/Floods/Droughts: Dry regions will become drier and wet regions will become wetter. Infrastructure for flood management is not prepared to handle 21st century rainstorms.
- Sea Level Rise: Sea level has risen about eight inches around the world since 1880. It will continue to rise. New York City residents witnessed Sandy flooding an area that was 25 square miles larger than it would have been in 1880--putting Manhattan subways under 10.5 feet of water.
- Hurricanes: Superstorm Sandy was the second most damaging hurricane to hit the Atlantic coast on record.
- Tornadoes: Still being studied within the larger framework of global warming.
Cullen delivered the bad news that even if carbon dioxide emissions were cut to zero, what has transpired is irreversible. Her closing comment on continued procrastination was, "The longer we wait, the greater the risks we will face and the greater the costs will be to respond."
Hopefully, for the sake of our children and future generations, our elected officials--from both parties--who attended the hearing were listening.
This article originally appeared on Moms Clean Air Force.