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Detroiters are seeing effects of climate change, such as extreme rain events that can cause major flooding. According to recent projections by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences & Assessments (GLISA), dangerously high temperatures lie ahead for our city, as well as more frequent and severe flooding from extreme storms that can lead to water contamination and damage to infrastructure and property. People with lower incomes living in urban areas are especially at risk from exposure to extreme heat. Allergies and respiratory problems from air pollution are both intensified by a warming climate, a risk for many and especially for children, the elderly and those with asthma. All of the impacts from our changing climate bear a price tag that households, businesses, and municipalities can ill afford.
Detroit Green House Gas Inventory
This is a comprehensive inventory of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is the first of its kind for Detroit. It is a significant milestone for Detroit’s efforts to find opportunities to mitigate climate change, to increase energy efficiency, and to increase our resilience to the impacts of climate change. This inventory provides the city with a baseline from which to track emission reductions and energy use—both citywide and within the City of Detroit municipal government.
Detroit is considered to be the second most impacted of the top 40 U.S. cities. Although Detroit is not threatened by global sea level rise it faces some major impacts. As you will read in the report Detroit has already has experienced a measurable increase in average temperature directly linked to climate change. The increase has mainly come from over night temperatures during heat events. Heat events also trigger asthma attacks. Detroit has three times the asthma as national average. In August 2014 Detroit experienced flooding which again overwhelmed storm water systems in the city and suburbs alike. The costs were astronomical. To make matters worse 100-year, 500-year, and 1000-year floods are increasing at an alarming rate.
Detroit Climate Change Vulnerability Report
Detroit faces many threats today that only compound if we continue to put off dealing with climate change right now. The costs to Detroit and it’s residents only climb higher as the clock inaction ticks away. More extreme weather events without addressing climate change means yet more expense and disruption to residents and businesses in the city. More high heat days means an increased number of health problems brought on by heat stress. As the polar weather systems continue warm and destabilizes sending polar weather systems further south, more of our most vulnerable neighbors are put at risk. Many of these vulnerable neighbors are put into an extreme financial hardship regardless if they experience health or safety issues.