Drastic changes are expected globally if projections for climate change are any indication of what will become reality. Increasing temperatures, rising seas, melting glaciers and a plethora of other results are all expected and would have considerable impacts on coastal zones and agriculture, amongst many other aspects of daily life. A recent report which focuses on life in New York state under the impacts of climate change was recently released, giving a clear picture of one given area for a global issue.
The report is titled ClimAID and was compiled by scientists from Columbia University, City University of New York and Cornell. The report is meant to aid both residents and policymakers in the state in preparing for the likely impacts of climate change.
The scientists wrote: “Climate change is already beginning to affect the people and resources of New York state, and these impacts are projected to grow. At the same time, the state has the potential capacity to address many climate-related risks, thereby reducing negative impacts and taking advantage of possible opportunities.”
The report noted some of the changes which have already occurred due to climate change, including temperature increases. Since 1970, the average temperature in New York state has increased by 2.4 degrees. This jumps to an increase of 4.4 degrees during the winter months. The coastal sea level has risen approximately a foot since 1900. The scientists also noted an increase in downpours in the state, although not a clear increase in precipitation overall.
As for changes to come, the scientists noted an expected increase in temperature of 4 to 9 degrees by 2080. In addition, sea levels will likely rise between 1 and 5 inches by the 2020s. Sea levels will continue by 2080 to between 8 to 23 inches, with limited polar ice cap melting, or 37 to 55 inches with considerable ice cap melting. Overall, summers are expected to be considerably hot, while winters will see an increase in snow. Precipitation is expected to increase but largely in the form of snow, although flooding will be a major issue as well in warmer months.
Along with these changes, the state will also see a variety of other impacts. These impacts include losing the Adirondack and Catskill forests and seeing the water levels in the Great Lakes dwindle. Invasive pests, such as insects, will become major issues as will increased energy use due to hot summers. Agricultural impacts will vary largely on water access, however, it was noted that apples crops would likely fall.