People who live in the Southeast should prepare for more drastically changing weather conditions — everything from heat waves to poorer air quality.

Climate change is the cause, according to a new book, edited by a University of Florida researcher.

The book, which UF’s Keith Ingram helped write, is titled “Climate Change of the Southeast United States: Variability, Change, Impacts and Vulnerability.” Ingram was the book’s lead editor.

Principal authors and editors, including Ingram, unveiled the book Nov. 12. Ingram is director of the Southeast Climate Consortium and an associate research scientist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

 

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“The Southeast already experiences extreme weather events including floods, droughts, heat waves, cold outbreaks, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and tropical cyclones. In the future, these events are likely to become more frequent or more severe, causing damage to most of our region’s agriculture, stressing our region’s water resources and threatening human health,” he said.

“The sooner we make preparations, the better off we’ll be.”

As defined in the book, the Southeast includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Specific findings include:

• Average annual temperatures are projected to increase through the 21stcentury, with the region’s interior projected to warm by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit;

• Cold days will become less frequent and the freeze-free season will lengthen by up to a month;