The effects of climate change on New York

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – It’s easy to imagine climate change affecting other parts of the country outside of the state. The reality is that New York City is not immune to changes in temperature and seasons, or health issues associated with climate change, but the state is trying to tackle them head-on.

More attention and big money for initiatives to tackle climate change has been the norm over the past two years. Governor Kathy Hochul has announced several actions since the start of 2022, including a plan to make two million homes in the state climate-friendly, electrified, or electrification-ready by 2030 that don’t run on natural gas. .

The plan includes updates to state energy efficiency laws, zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction by 2027, and energy benchmarking for large buildings to track improvements in energy efficiency. “This transformative investment in green infrastructure will cement New York’s status at the forefront of climate action and ensure equity in our transition to a cleaner, greener state,” Hochul said Jan. 5.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has a website detailing the effects of climate change in New York. The website breaks down the facts about climate change, what the state is doing to fight it, and a report on greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change in New York:

  • Since 1970, the average temperature has increased by about 2.4°F
  • There was a statewide annual average temperature increase in all regions
  • Future warming will occur primarily in northern regions of the state
  • Average annual precipitation has increased since 1900 (more rain and snow)
  • There was more rain and snow in winter and less in summer
  • More frequent thunderstorms and heavier showers are expected in the future
  • Sea levels have risen along the states coast by more than a foot since 1900 and are expected to be 18 to 75 inches higher by 2100
  • Spring starts about a week earlier than in the 1950s
  • Bees are starting to pollinate in the northeast about 10 days earlier than in the 1880s
  • Breeding bird and ocean fish populations in the states have shifted north in recent decades.

Climate change has a direct link to the health of New Yorkers. People sensitive to warmer temperatures, such as people with cardiovascular or lung problems, may find it more difficult to stay outdoors. Warmer temperatures increase the presence of smog, ground ozone and pollen, making it harder for allergy sufferers.

Albany was ranked the 10th worst city in the nation for allergy sufferers in the 2022 Allergy Capitals™ report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). “If we don’t slow down the cycle (of climate change), pollen production and air pollution will only get worse. Millions of people already suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis and pollen allergies are a major cause. If this cycle continues, we could see the number of people with seasonal allergies increase,” the organization said.

Climate change can also make floods or droughts more frequent. This can expose more residents to dangerous rushing waters and affect crop results on New York farms. NEWS10 has contacted the DEC for comment. Read the statement from DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos below:

Climate change is the existential environmental threat of our time. In 2019, New York State passed the national Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to help protect public health and the environment. As part of the Climate Act, we are working to achieve our ambitious goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and electrifying our economy. These efforts are essential to help address extreme weather events, ensure the preservation of our ecosystem, improve public health and air quality, create jobs and opportunity, and ensure climate justice for future generations. The benefits of investments made in New York State to implement climate law far outweigh the costs of inaction to reduce our emissions and fight climate change. For New Yorkers, this means cleaner air, fewer hospital visits and lower health care costs, lives saved from premature death, new green jobs and careers, and fewer weather events. extremes.

DEC Commissioner Seggos

Teresa H. Sadler