Thursday, October 15, 2009

How Will Climate Change Affect Pennsylvania?

(This post is one of many linked to this year's Blog Action Day topic, climate change. To read more, visit the Blog Action Day Website, or look for #bad09 on Twitter.)

Generally when I think of the impact of climate change, Pennsylvania is not the first place that comes to mind. After polar bears, penguins, and the impact climate change will have on poverty throughout the world, I might start wondering about the changes that will come to my daily life.

But even here in Pennsylvania, the changes will be big. The Union of Concerned Scientists released a report last year noting that through climate change:
  • Air quality in PA is likely to decrease, thereby increasing the prevalence of asthma, allergies, and other respiratory ailments.
  • Yields of certain crops and dairy products will decrease.
  • Certain species of hardwood trees and birdlife may disappear.
  • Under best-case scenarios, Western PA will have a climate similar to today's climate in West Virginia and Ohio within 30 years. In 60 years, the Western PA climate will be similar to Kentucky. For Eastern PA, a best-case scenario leads to a climate similar to Virginia.
  • Under worse-case scenarios, Western PA will feel like Kentucky in 30 years and Alabama in 60. Eastern PA will feel like North Carolina in 30 years and southern Georgia in 60.
Other reports indicate that in economic terms, Pennsylvania could soon be spending billions on infrastructure, water resources, and agriculture due to climate change.

There is much more to read about climate change, and also much that you can do. What's important is that you begin taking action today.

Are you worried about climate change? Let us know in the comments section!

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