Great Lakes New York Climate

Great Lakes Communities and Ecosystems at RiskThe Regionspacer
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Climate Change in New York
Brook Trout
Climate Projections
Human Health
Property and Infrastructure
Recreation & Tourism
Water Supply & Pollution
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Climate Change Projections
Up-state New York's traditionally cold, snowy winters favor a variety of winter sports, and the warm summers appeal to thousands of anglers and campers each year providing a boost for the upstate local economies. Precipitation and climate in New York has also contributed to successful livestock farming, as well as contributing to the success of crops such as apples, grapes, feedgrains, and vegetables. Each of these unique features is threatened by projected changes in climate.

The latest, most reliable projections of future climate change combine 100 years of historical data for New York with the most up-to-date general circulation models of the Earth's climate system. In general, New York's climate will grow considerably warmer and probably drier during this century, especially in the summer. As a result of these changes, by 2030 New York's summer climate is expected to feel like that of present day Ohio. By 2095 summer will feel like the climate of present day Illinois and winters more like Pennsylvania.

Below is more detail on these projections. For a graphical depiction, see the Migrating Climates feature.

Projected Climate Changes in New York
Warmer Temperatures
A 6-7oF rise in winter and a 7-8oF rise in summer by the end of the century is projected.

Precipitation Changes Although average annual precipitation may not change much, an overall drier climate is expected because rainfall cannot compensate for the increase in evaporation resulting from greater temperatures. Thus New York may see drier soils and more droughts. Seasonally, winter precipitation is expected to increase by 15-20% and summer precipitation is expected to decrease by 5-10%.

Extreme Events
Extreme heat will be more common, and the frequency of heavy rainstorms will increase.

Ice Cover
Declines in ice cover on the Great Lakes and inland lakes have been recorded over the past 100-150 years and are expected to continue.

Photo Credits:
Brook Trout -- Gerald C. Bucher.
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