What Will Northeast Climate and Weather Changes Affect?
The recorded changes are expected to continue and intensify. The region’s environment, economy, quality of life and way of life have been adversely affected by these changes. Flooding due to sea levels rising and the heavy rain is likely to occur more often. Densely populated areas along the coasts of the Northeast are likely to face challenges due to the substantial increase in the amount of and the frequency of storms, which will cause flooding, and erosion. With flooding and erosion come the loss of property and property damage, and the loss of wetlands. New York State has more than 2.3 trillion dollars in coastal property. The coastline will see a rise in damage due to rising sea levels.
The reduction in the amounts of snowfall that is projected over future years will impact winter recreation in the region and the economy. It is expected the length of the winter snow season will be reduced to half throughout the Northeast regional areas of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. These reduced snow periods could fall to as low as a week or two in the southern areas of the Northeast region by later this century. Snow and ice sports venues could see a reduction of $7.6 billion yearly that is currently contributing to the region’s economy.
Lobster fisheries along the Georges Bank are likely to become extinct. Lobster fishing has already declined dramatically in the past ten years. A temperature sensitive bacterial shell disease is to blame for the lack in lobster catches. Analysis also shows the possibility of an increase in lobster survival and settlement in the northern regions of the Gulf of Maine due to the warmer weather conditions. As temperatures rise, the cod fishing industry may be adversely affected as well.
In the area of agricultural production, including the fruit, dairy and even the maple syrup businesses, food item manufacuring will be reduced due to the changing weather patterns. Some areas of the Northeast are likely to become too warm for the popular varieties of apples, cranberries and blueberries they typically grow.Conditions enabling the growth of maple, beech and birch forests are expected to dramatically shift northward, which will leave only a small fraction of the Northeast with the ability to produce maple sugar. This will also affect the fall foliage coloring that is iconic to this part of the United States.
The changes in climate would most likely add three weeks to the already sweltering hot and humid summer months. This means summer will start three weeks earlier than it does now and will push three weeks later into the fall months. Temperatures into the hundreds would mean hardships on the elderly or those with allergies or those prone to health problems. Declining air quality is an attributing factor as well. Cities like Philadelphia and Hartford would see an average of nearly 30 days over 100 degrees.