Ithaca, NY, Dec 08, 2011 — One of the lead investigators of the recent report on climate change in New York says the heavy storms this spring and summer, and the mild temperatures this fall will not necessarily be the "new normal" for the north country and Adirondacks. But Cornell University climate researcher Arthur DeGaetano says the heavy rainfall and warm weather could be a glimpse into the future.
The report, released late last month by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is based on the work of more than 50 scientists. It paints a harsh picture of extreme climate events - predicting that upstate New York will have heavier, and more frequent downpours, like those we've seen this year.
The report says the temperature in New York has already warmed 2.4 degrees in the past forty years. It projects a further rise of as much as three degrees by the 2020s, with the temperature steadily warming as much as nine degrees by the 2080s.
DeGaetano says that means northern New York would have a climate more like North Carolina or Georgia. He says the report isn't meant to scare people. It's meant to help them transition along with the climate. DeGaetano says agriculture will be one of the industries most affected. He spoke with Julie Grant.