As summer draws near in the Finger Lakes and both residents and tourists look forward to the natural beauty and activities found in the region, there is a nagging question that is on a lot of people’s minds – how will climate change affect the Finger Lakes this year and in the coming years?
It’s hard to believe that a handful of scientists, economists and politicians started to sound the alarm about climate change back in the 1950s and then it picked up steam into the 1980s. So, what’s changed since the initial warnings? Awareness and understanding have increased substantially, but what about measures to help slow down, reverse and prevent climate change? Here’s a look at some of the ways climate change is already affecting the Finger Lakes.
A Prediction of Bigger Rainfall
One of the predictions of climate change is that the region will experience bigger rainfall in the spring. Increased rainfall has all kinds of repercussions from minor to serious, but because the Finger Lakes is so well known for its Riesling wine, the weather is extremely important to its economy. Any small shift in weather patterns can negatively affect the growing season by making it shorter, yielding less viable crops and even making fewer areas ideal for growing. With all that excess rainfall, flooding also becomes a real possibility, which can spell disaster for farmers.
Excess Rain Followed by Periods of Drought
Another prediction is that these periods of excess rain may then be followed by prolonged periods of drought, putting severe limitations on crops and even the availability of fresh water in the area. The longer the drought remains, the lower the water levels will become on lakes, rivers and streams, threatening each of their ecosystems. Should these periods of drought occur during the hot summer months, which is the prediction, it can be even more damaging to the environment.
Complaining About the Heat? You Aren’t Alone
If you feel like summer is getting hotter and hotter, and each year it seems you need to push the air conditioner a little further in the home, you’re not alone. The world is warming up and the Finger Lakes aren’t immune to that change. It’s the warmer temperatures that feed into so many of the other climate change factors.
And as people rely more and more on fans and air conditioning units to stay cool and comfortable, there will be a more substantial drain on resources in terms of electricity and energy. Of course, warming temperatures also wreak havoc on nature, wildlife, crops and so forth.
Just take a look at how many lakes now have algal blooms, which are harmful. It used to be that only the shallower ones had the issue, but even the deeper lakes are warming up now, causing the blooms to occur. If all this talk about the warming temperatures has you curious to learn more, you can access all kinds of information on Global Warming is Real and dive deeper into the topic.
One thing is for certain, the Finger Lakes are at just as much risk as other regions in the country when it comes to climate change, as it’s been happening gradually for quite some time now.
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