Scientific evidence says that the earth’s climate is changing. New York is experiencing this change in numerous ways, including:
- Average temperatures in the state are 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they were as recently as 1970.
- Winter temperatures are 4.4 degrees higher than in 1970.
- Plants in New York now bloom as much as 8 days earlier in the spring than they did in 1970.
- Birds that traditionally breed in New York have moved their ranges northward by as much as 40 miles in the past two decades.
- Diseases from the tropics, such as West Nile disease and Lyme disease, are appearing further north.
Scientists predict that New York could see additional impacts as the planet’s climate warms. These include:
- Additional warming, estimated at 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit, because of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
- Dry spells of several weeks’ duration, punctuated by extreme rains and storms.
- Winter snow cover reduced enough to affect the recreation industry.
- Loss of cool-weather plants and animals that have traditionally lived in New York, such as sugar maples and some marine species.
- Sea levels rising by between 4 inches and 33 inches. The amount of sea level rise will depend on how successfully, and how soon, nations are able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions