What is Climate Change?

Climate refers to the long-term regional or global average of temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns over seasons, years or decades. Climate Change is a long -term change in the average weather patterns that become the Earth’s local, regional and global climates. Changes observed in Earth’s climate are primarily driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning for electricity, heat and transportation that creates greenhouse gasses that trap heat and therefore increases the average temperature of the Earth’s surface.

A second major source is deforestation which releases sequestered carbon into the air. Other human activities that generate air pollution are fertilizer use, livestock production and road construction. To learn more deforestation, please click here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/effects-of/deforestation

Climate data records provide evidence of climate change key indicators, such as global land and ocean temperature increases, rising sea levels, ice loss, frequency and severity changes in extreme weather such as hurricanes, heat waves, wildfire, droughts, floods and precipitation. To learn more about global Climate Change, click here: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Climate  change is  occurring both globally and locally. New York state has been feeling the effects of climate change. There has been an increase in temperature, rain, snow,  and sea level. In addition to these increasing factors there are also health risks as a result of climate change.  With an increase in temperature comes an increase in heat waves which can cause heat stroke, and other serious health problems. Increasing temperatures  can increase pollen and air pollution affect those with asthma. Hotter temperatures  can also expand ranges for disease carrying insects, disease like Lyme disease may appear in different areas because of the range expansion.

Changing patterns  of  precipitation like drought and flooding may directly cause human injury or death. It could also possibly reduce drinking water and other human needs. With these disruption of precipitation patterns, this can cause disturbances to agriculture and can cause unsuccessful food production.

To learn more about the impact of climate change in New York, click here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/94702.html

To learn more about climate change related health issues, click here: https://www.apha.org/news-and-media/multimedia/infographics/how-climate-change-affects-your-health

Climate Change on a National Level

There are many affects of climate change to the United States as a whole. It is projected that the increase in heavy precipitation will continue, even in areas where  precipitation is expected to decrease or remain scarce like the Southwest region of the United States. Projections also show that temperatures will continue to rise in the western and central areas of the United States. As a result, soil moisture will be reduced and this will worsen heat waves. Hurricane related storm  intensity and rainfall rates are expected to increase as climate change continues to increase warm temperatures.

Climate Change on a State Level

New York state is also feeling the impacts of climate change.¬† Throughout the state, there has been an increase in the average¬† temperature of about 2.4¬įF since the 1970‚Äôs. It is projected that temperatures will continue to increase. Some of New York‚Äôs breeding birds and fish populations¬† have shifted North. This is a result of the increasing temperatures¬† in the New York state area.

Since 1990 the annual precipitation has increased and  this is expected to continue with heavier downpours and more frequent storms. Sea levels have risen more than a foot along New York’s coastlines since 1900. It is projected that by 2100 sea levels will rise 18 to 50 inches. Winter snow cover has also decreased.

To learn more about the impact of climate change in New York, click here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/94702.html

Many states have taken action against climate change and its effects. Specifically New York state has created the NYS Climate Smart Communities Program (CSC) was created to  ensure that governments  would  act  on climate change  and its impacts.

For more information about  NYS Climate Smart Community Program, refer to the tab: NYS Climate Smart Community Program

Climate Change on a County Level

As is the case with most of the United States, Putnam County and the Hudson Valley  area  have also been impacted by climate change.  Temperatures are also expected to rise and heavier rain is to be more frequent. It is projected that there will also be an increase in heat waves and an in increase in infectious disease.

Increase temperatures  can also lead to warmer winters, where can insects reproduce more easily. As a result of summers becoming longing and winters becoming shorter, insects populations can increase. This also applies to ticks or other insects which can carry certain disease. Therefore, as temperatures increase more ticks and other insects have more  range to infect individuals .

The Atlantic  Ocean is expected to rise 2 to 4.5 feet by 2100, which is faster than most parts of the world and country. Since the Hudson river eventually reaches the Atlantic Ocean, the river will rise at the same rate as the Atlantic Ocean. Increased and heavier rain will lead to increase erosion and run-off, this makes farming more difficult because the ground is so much more vulnerable to run-off and flooding.

To learn more about how climate change is impacting the Hudson valley region, click here: https://theotherhudsonvalley.com/2018/11/29/climate-change-hudson-valley/

Putnam County has taken the  pledge for NYS Climate Smart Communities Program (CSC) . Which was created to  ensure that governments  would  act  on climate change  and its impacts.

To view Putnam County’s Climate Smart Community Pledge Resolution, refer to the subtab: Putnam County Pledge Resolution. This located under the NYS Climate Smart Community Program tab.

Contact information

Lauri Taylor – Putnam County Climate Smart Coordinator
C/o Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District
841 Fair Street
Carmel, NY 10512
Phone: (845) 878-7918
Email: lauri.taylor@putnamcountyny.gov

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