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According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4° F over the last 100 years. The EPA also notes that the average temperature is projected to rise even more over the next century, rising an estimated 2° F during that span. Though such incremental increases may seem insignificant, even small changes in the average temperature of the planet can have a dramatic effect on climate and weather. The EPA points out that many regions have already begun to experience the effects of the rise in temperature. For example, changes in average rainfall in certain areas have led to more flooding for some regions and more drought in others.

Rising sea levels are another potential concern, as the warming of the planet has led to warmer oceans and melting ice caps. If ignored, climate change, which includes significant changes in temperature, precipitation and wind patterns, can have a substantial impact on human beings and their way of life, affecting human health, water supplies, agriculture, and power and transportation systems. Though the impact of climate change has the potential to be devastating, the EPA notes that reducing greenhouse gas emissions can reduce risks from climate change. Learn more at www.epa.gov/climatechange.

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