September 14, 2006--Posted at 5:40 p.m. CDT
FORREST CITY, AR--We call Arkansas the Natural State because of it's abundance in rivers, forests, farmlands and wildlife. But the states reputation could be at risk with the increase in global warming.
The Arkansas Climate Awareness Project is making efforts across the state to inform citizens about the potential problem of global warming.
"I think if we are out here over the next several months raising awareness about the problem and the public feels this is a problem, public policy will flow from that," said ARCAP Director Don Richardson.
While most people aren't noticing a major difference because of global warming, scientists estimate average global temperatures will rise another three to seven degrees by the end of the century. A change that could be a major disruption to a state susceptible to a climate disruption.
"In the future, the estimates of how global warming will affect Arkansas range everywhere from more rain to less rain, to more tornadoes, stronger hurricanes and etc.," said April Ambrose of ARCAP.
Area hunters are already seeing some affects from global warming, as experts estimate the state has seen a 50% decrease in duck population.
"It seems the fly away has changed and the ducks have moved up and I think that has to do with global warming," said Richardson.
The two primary sources for global warming pollution are the coal firing power plants and the internal combustion engine. Just by taking a couple simple steps you can greatly save the Arkansas environment.
"One of the main things we can do as consumers is buy Energy Star products and use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead incandescent," said Ambrose.
However, cutting down on the need to use fossil fuels for energy is the most important way to reverse the global warming trend. One way to do this is hybrid vehicles. Another potential solution lies with Arkansas farmers and the renewable energy sources they can produce. These products could also be a major boost to the local agricultural industry.
"I think we have some great opportunities with carbon sequestration and bio-fuels for Arkansas to be a leader," said Richardson.