The recent climate report put out by the U.S. government paints a grim picture for America. It asserts that the country is already feeling the effects of climate change and that those effects could cost the U.S. economy 10% of its size. The majority of the damage the report predicts is set to occur on the U.S.’s coastal cities, but what about an inland city like Syracuse?
The report outlines a future in which extreme climate events become increasingly more common. In the case of a city like Syracuse, it means more frequent heat waves in the summer and heavier precipitation. In the winter, however, it means more snow, a lot more snow. As the climate warms the effects of lake effect snow from Lake Ontario are expected to increase.
“In terms of what;s relevant for us here, locally in Syracuse, probably the most obvious things are that they are predicting an increase in the frequency of heat waves and an increase in the amount of winter and spring precipitation across the northeast,” says Jacob Bendix, Professor of Geography at Syracuse University.
For students at Syracuse University, the findings in the report are unwanted, but they are not surprising either. Kendra Guerrero a senior at SU says “It’s freezing and it sucks and I’m not happy and alot of people think that storms like this or blizzards like this are going to effect us in the long term and its effecting us now.”
If the trends continue going the way they are the damage to Syracuse’s crops won’t be far behind. Crops like apple and corn will have to contend with heavier winters, soil flooding, early thawing, and added heat stress. One of those things alone could ruin a crop for farmers upstate hampering the regions economic and agricultural output.
Right now though, the effects of climate change are already being felt around Central New York. This month is the fifth-coldest November on record through the first 25 days. In addition to that last Friday was the coldest November day on record as well as being the first time on record that Syracuse dipped below zero in November. The city also only needs seven inches of snow this week to break the record for the snowiest November beating out November 1995.
Given the research in the U.S. governments report, the climate of the country is changing and residents in Syracuse should brace themselves for the possibility that they won’t find those changes favorable.