PU climate expert says change must be made now

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its final report this weekend. One Purdue scientist talks about the latest reports and his concerns on climate change.

Two prior reports suggest climate change is happening and that global consequences could be more severe than previously reported.

Jeffrey Dukes, the Associate Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, said climate change could have a severe impact on crops. He said as temperatures rise, crops will not grow as well.

“As climate change continues, we’re going to be going past those thresholds for more and more crops. And to some extent, especially in the richer countries, there are things that we can do to deal with that. In the poorer [countries], it’s going to be much harder for people to adapt,” Dukes said.

Through some of his own studies, Dukes has found that weeds could be a problem as well. He said one weed in California grew six times more in warmer-projected climates than in today’s climate.

However, Dukes said carbon emissions have not changed much in the past few years. He remains optimistic that emissions can be reduced, but action needs to taken soon.

“If we get bogged down in political issues that don’t do anybody any good, then that could slow down the implementation of these technologies, and that’ll have real consequences for people and for other species,” said Dukes.

In 2007, Dukes helped review the previous IPCC reports on climate change. He stated the biggest challenge in reducing carbon emissions is being more proactive now, not later.

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