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Expert: Climate Change Means More Hurricanes, Droughts

11:55 PM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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Burlington, NC -- Jeffrey Coker wrote a book about it.

He says climate change will require we do things differently and might reshape where we live, how well we live and what we eat.

"Either we change or nature is going to change us. So we have choices to make," Coker said.

2012 has been deemed the hottest year on record in the U.S.

The average high temperature was 55.3 degrees. That's one full degree higher than the previous record of 54.3 degrees set in 1998.

No record has ever been set by a margin greater than .2 degrees.

So this record is five times greater than anything we've ever seen.

Coker said, "There are things blooming on January 8th that aren't supposed to be blooming on January 8th that have never bloomed before on January 8th. So that's going to impact the insects and the pollen of those plants. That's going to impact the things that eat those insects."

"All those changes in nature cause massive disruptions in human society as well. All those storms and fires and different things, they're going to destroy a lot of human communities. We've already seen that. We'll see a lot more of it," said Coker.

"Ultimately, the impact will be higher food prices in the United States. So that's going to have a big impact or pressure on low income people."

"Some agricultural systems and therefore the underlying societies will collapse and you'll just see those people migrate to other parts of the world," he said.

Coker says we're not even close to doing enough to turn the trend.

He says we need to do two things: use less energy and plant billions more trees.

Even with that type of response, he predicts we'll see more intense weather phenomena.

"What we can say is hurricanes over time will get worse and probably more frequent. We can say that drought will get worse and will probably be more frequent."

Click the video to watch the entire interview.

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