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FALL 2011
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Climate Predictions by Region

The ClimAID analysis recognizes that each region within New York will face unique challenges. Here’s a sample of what’s predicted by 2080.

Western New York & the Great Lakes Plain

This region brings in the highest agricultural revenues in the state, but the increasing risk of summer drought will make irrigation a commonplace safeguard.

Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley

New York City’s watershed will no longer have a
climate suitable for spruce and fir forests, and hemlock trees are threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid—an insect pest moving northward as the climate warms. Cool-water-loving brook trout will be replaced by bass. While winter recreation will be reduced by lower snow pack, it will be offset by increased summer opportunities.

Southern Tier

This dairy-dominated agricultural economy will need barns retrofitted with cooling systems. Flooding along the Susquehanna River may increase, and the region will be the first line of defense against invasive species migrating north.

New York City and Long Island

The coastal zone, which pairs high population density with vulnerability to storms, will experience the greatest economic impact in the state. The upper-end prediction for sea level rise by 2080—two feet—would flood the subways and put 25 percent of New York City streets under water. The heat-absorbing properties of concrete and pavement can make the city 10°F higher than the surrounding rural areas.

Hudson and Mohawk River Valley

The Hudson River will be vulnerable to saltwater ingress. Popular apple varieties may decline because winters are insufficiently cold.

Tug Hill Plateau

Hydropower currently provides 19 percent of New York’s energy, much of it generated in this region. While lake-effect snows could increase in the short term, water levels in the Great Lakes could decline.

Adirondack Mountains

The midwinter snowpack in the Adirondacks is predicted to barely surpass 4 inches by 2080—compared to the current average of 16 inches—decreasing winter recreation opportunities and threatening many of the region’s unique alpine plant and animal species.

The final report is expected in November 2011.