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How will Global Warming affect New York State? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

How Will Global Warming Affect New York State?

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Before/After

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Global warming is a major issue that is affecting all of the world. Global warming is caused by humans burning fossil fuels, and this releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which causes the atmosphere to increase in temperature. This process is known as the greenhouse effect. There are many effects of global warming that have already happened to the earth. The burning of fossil fuels over the years have led to the 1 degree increase in temperature in the world. Also more diseases have become more numerous due to global warming. These diseases include Lyme disease, Malaria, and West Nile Virus.

 

 

This picture is equal to 24 tons of pollution produced in 5 minutes, from one fossil fuel burning company.

 

 

 

 

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New York State is one major state that will endure the harsh conditions of global warming. New York is well adapted to the changes in weather that the state experiences. The major winter snow storms due to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and the heat in the summer, that can reach up to 93 degrees in July and August. Already we have seen snow levels increase in many of the higher terrains that can total up to 2 feet in one day. Temperatures in 2007 got up to 97 degrees in August. This could get much worse.

One of many snow storms in New York State 

 The blizzard of 1977! Very possible for it to happen again. 

   

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The hotter the temperatures, the higher the thermometer reading.

 

 

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However, the affects of global warming on this state will increase the snow storm intensity, making the storms hit up to seven times harder than they do now. In the mountainous regions of New York, the Adirondacks and the Catskills, they are known for natural beauty in the fall, from the color changing leaves on the trees, great downhill skiing in the winter, and a great vacation site in the spring and summer months, with lots of recreational activities for all ages.

 

 Peak of

color changing

leaves in

The Catskills!

 

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Recreational Boating!

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   However, as global warming increases, these regions will see an increasing amount of brutal snow storms starting around the year 2050. This will be great at first, mostly for ski resorts and people who enjoy the snow, but then the temperatures will increase, and most of the snow will melt. As soon as 2100, the temperatures will have increased and they will get little snow, and they will endure large amounts of rain. This is not good for these regions because ski companies will lose business, and the mountains could experience mudslides or landslides, due to all of the rain that will saturate the ground. All of this water will run right down the mountains, making the low-lying areas flood, because they have no sources for runoff, to get all of the water out. This water will sit there for long amounts of time, depending on the length of the rain storms. 

 

  The picture on the left is from a mudslide in The Catskills in 2002 from 3 non-stop days of rain. The picture on the left is from another mudslide that happened in The Adirondacks in 2004 from 7 days of rain.

                Picture #1                                              Picture #2

   Picture #1: http://www.codycafe.com/images/sylvan_pass_mudslide_04_2.jpg 

   Picture #2: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Imgs/Jpg/Casita/30710609-026_large.jpg

 

Also the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has predicted that breeding grounds for songbirds will be in danger, due to all of the rain, making them leave New York State and find a new place to live farther north. This is the bird that first originated in the mountains of the Adirondacks and Catskills.

Songbirds !

  

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New York State is 80% coastline, having 26 out of 62 counties on the waters of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, and the Atlantic Ocean. As predicted, coastline waters are expected to rise about 1-3 feet by the year 2025. So during storms all over New York State, flooding will become more of a problem, because the water level from the storm and the lake or ocean water levels will be even, so no runoff will occur.

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Flood in a suburb of Syracuse in 1999 after an outbreak of many severe storms.

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 Also, as the sea level rises, this will mean faster beach erosion for all of the 26 coastal counties. On Long Island, as much as 3 feet per year could be lost on all of the beaches. Long Island has  already taken some action against letting this happen. They have a huge layout for a plan of either laying out sea wall to restore the beaches size, or by pouring large amounts of  sand yearly so the water will have a more difficult time eroding the beaches.

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The above picture is from beach erosion along Lake Ontario.

As water levels rise, and floods become more frequent, drinking water supplies are expected to worsen. This is because cracks and breaks in the underground pipes could occur, and this would contaminate the water sources. It could take many days at a time before these things are fixed, because crews would not be able to get to the underground pipes through sitting water.

The above pipes could break if flooding does not dry up quickly, and it may take days for crews to find the break.

http://www.leics.gov.uk/newsletter_spring05_pipeline.jpg 

Diseases are also expected to increase in New York State as an effect of global warming. Rare diseases such as Lyme disease will be on the rise, especially for the people who don’t maintain a healthy diet, and who don't have great personal hygiene. Also, illnesses that don’t frequently happen in New York State will be on the rise. These include heat-related strokes and heat-related heart attacks. Poison ivy and ragweed thrive in the warmer temperatures. Harvard and Yale University specialists have predicted that the poison that is in poison ivy will increase and become more harmful to the point where it could even be deadly. An increase in the amount of ragweed will produce more pollen, and this will increase allergies in a large amount of people. This will mean more colds and the spreading of them through many people. Other diseases will increase, too.

               Poison Ivy                         Ragweed

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Mosquitoes are very much attracted to the warm and hot temperatures. So as New York State increases in temperature, mosquito levels will be on the rise. These bugs carry all sorts of disease. The major ones are Malaria and West Nile Virus. Malaria will cause chills and sweating at the same time, which can result in death. 400 million people are infected with this disease every year, and those with weak immune systems, like small children, are unable to fight it off. West Nile Virus is similar to Malaria, but can have worse symptoms. These include headache, vomiting, and fever. This can also result in death.

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So as global warming starts to effect the world, more problems will happen, especially in New York State. People have and hopefully will keep putting efforts forward to help slow down the process of global warming. New York is one of the states who do many things to help the situation against the floods and diseases, and hopefully they continue to do all in their power to continue these efforts, so New York can still be a great place to live. 
 
by Shaun Brown

Links:

http://www.nwf.org/globalwarming/pdfs/NewYork.pdf

http://www.nyserda.org/SEP/sepsection3-7.pdf

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=62385

http://www.eany.org/gw/impacts.html


 

 
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