Report | Environment Florida Research and Policy Center

When it Rains, it Pours

Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture. An analysis of more than 80 million daily precipitation records from across the contiguous United States reveals that intense rainstorms and snowstorms have already become more frequent and more severe. Extreme downpours are now happening 30 percent more often nationwide than in 1948. In other words, large rain or snowstorms that happened once every 12 months, on average, in the middle of the 20th century now happen every nine months. Moreover, the largest annual storms now produce 10 percent more precipitation, on average. An increase in extreme downpours has costly ramifications for the United States, with the potential to cause more flooding that jeopardizes property and lives. With scientists predicting even greater increases in extreme precipitation in the years ahead, the United States and the world must take action to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.

Report | Environment Florida Research and Policy Center

Summer on the Road

Our oil dependence risks our environment to disasters like oil spills, endangers our climate with the nearly 2 billion metric tons of global warming pollution each year, and threatens our families’ health. With prices in some areas hitting $4 per gallon once again, our oil consumption is also putting an incredible burden on American families’ finances. It’s time for us to break our dependence on oil. Recognizing this, the Obama administration is working to finalize standards for our cars and light trucks that would achieve 54.5 mpg by 2025--that would be the single biggest step we have ever taken to get off oil. A new report, Summer on the Road: Going Farther on a Gallon of Gas, demonstrates the enormous benefits we would see just from having these cleaner cars on the road during this summer driving season.

Report | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Building a Better America

We can save money and help solve global warming by reducing the amount of energy we use, including in the buildings where we live and work every day. More than 40 percent of our energy — and 10 percent of all the energy used in the world — goes toward powering America’s buildings. But today’s high-efficiency homes and buildings prove that we have the technology and skills to drastically improve the efficiency of our buildings while simultaneously improving their comfort and affordability.

If we apply those lessons to all buildings, we can reduce energy use in our homes and workplaces by a quarter, lowering global warming pollution from buildings 30 percent by 2030.

Report | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

America's Biggest Mercury Polluters

Power plants continue to release large amounts of toxic pollutants, including mercury, into our air. In 2010, two-thirds of all airborne mercury pollution in the United States came from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants. In other words, power plants generate more airborne mercury pollution than all other industrial sources combined.

Report | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Danger in the Air

All Americans should be able to breathe clean air.  But pollution from power plants and vehicles puts the health of our nation’s children and families at risk.

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