A WKU professor who served on the panel behind the recently released national climate change report says Kentucky hasn’t been as impacted by climate change as several other states.
But Dr. Rezaul Mahmood says that could change in the coming years.
The WKU Geography and Geology Professor is one of about 60 members of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee. The group’s 1,100 page report, released Tuesday, says the impacts of climate change are being seen across the country.
While Kentucky hasn’t seen the degree of temperature change that some western and east-coast states have experienced, the WKU Professor says policy makers and residents in the commonwealth shouldn’t be complacent.
“If changes in other regions happen, that will eventually impact Kentucky, Dr. Mahmood said. "For example, if watersheds in other states are getting lots of rain, or not enough rain, eventually our water supply is going to be affected."
Dr. Mahmood says one way Kentucky has been proactive about climate change has been the creation of a comprehensive drought plan that coordinates efforts at the state and local levels.
“If there is a drought five years from now that is linked to climate change--or not--we can activate those steps and procedures, so that we can minimize the impacts.”
Dr. Mahmood says he and his fellow authors did not deliberately write their report in a way to shock the public. He says the group was simply focused on communicating the potential impacts of climate change.
You can read the National Climate Assessment here.