Past Initiative News

Local Impacts From Climate Change

Monday, February 18, 2013

ALBANY — “The 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15 years,” said President Barack Obama during the State of the Union address.

2012 was the warmest year on record in Albany. If you look at the big picture, it’s important to understand climate change itsn’t just global warming.

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, the most severe drought in decades and the worst wild fires in decades were just a freak coincidence, or we can choose to believe the science,” said President Obama.

Mathias Vuille is a atmospheric science professor at SUNY Albany, focusing on climate change.

“Climate change is so much more than just an increase in temperature,” said Vuille.

Locally we could see much more extreme weather.

“Climate change can actually lead to more frequent snow storms. For example if temperatures get a little bit warmer, there is more water vapor in the air, but it is still cold enough to snow; we get these freak snow storms that we have seen the last couple of years,” said Vuille.

A perfect example of this is the snow storm that dumped 40″ of snow throughout Connecticut last week.

“The frequency of intense storm, rain events, is increasing in the northeast. That is certainly what we have seen in the northeast over the last two or three years,” said Vuille.

As our weather turns more active, it other parts of the country it will likely become too quiet.

“We will have to cope with more frequent and intense droughts with water scarcity,” said Vuille.

There is way we are making it worse.

“The burning of fossil fuels, which is increasing the greenhouse gases,” said Vuille.

Until we can change this, Vuille says everyone will need to prepare for more Sandy’s, Irene’s and Lee’s.