From the Vermont News Guy blog commenting on a just released major report about "how the world is getting warmer, will continue to do so, and in the process leave our descendents a hotter, wetter, and very different part of the country."
...Since 1970, the report said, the annual average temperature in the Northeast has increased by 2°F, with winter temperatures rising twice this much.” For those seeking a silver lining in the cloud, there is one: longer growing seasons.
But also more “heavy downpours,” dirtier air leading to “increasing problems for human health,” and “severe flooding.”
Oh, and less snow. Perhaps a lot less snow.
Over the next several decades, those winter temperatures could rise at least another 2.5 degrees, perhaps as much as 4 degrees.
“The projected reduction in snow cover will adversely affect winter recreation and the industries that rely upon it,” the report says. “The length of the winter snow season would be cut in half across northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine…Winter snow and ice sports, which contribute $7.6 billion annually to the region’s economy, will be particularly affected by warming.”
In the woods, the report noted, the spruce and fur forests so important to northern New England are “declining already,” and are likely to continue doing so, replaced by maple and beach trees under the “lower possibility” of climate change, by oak and hickory under the “higher possibility.”
In addition, “large portions of the Northeast are likely to become unsuitable for growing popular varieties of apples, blueberries, and cranberries under a higher emissions scenario.” As for maple trees and their prized sap, conditions suitable for maple forests “are expected to shift dramatically northward…eventually leaving only a small portion of the Northeast with a major maple sugar business.”
Read the full commentary here