COLUMBUS, OHIO – Young adults in Ohio are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center.
“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Nate Lotze, campaign organizer with Environment Ohio. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”
Intense storms have led to the 12% increase in precipitation Ohioans have experienced over the last 40 years, according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young.
"There's been an observed 37% increase in heavy rain storms across the Midwest the past few decades," said Frank Szollosi with the National Wildlife Federation. "The heavy rain increases runoff that fuels harmful algal blooms that result in higher drinking water charges for families and businesses, and sets up disasters like the Toledo Water Crisis last August. I live in Toledo and we couldn't drink the water for three days. It was scary, disrupting hospitals, schools, restaurants to just name a few. Climate change is having costly impacts across the Great Lakes today, and if we don't lead in reducing carbon pollution, the impacts will only get worse."
The report also shows that temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees over the last five generations, leading to prolonged droughts and heat waves that can damage agricultural production.
"For farmers and the agricultural industry, weather is both ally and foe," said Chrissie Laymon, owner of the Farm on Kenyon Road in Knox County. "Everything we do is directly impacted by the weather and we are acutely aware of how it is changing. Drought, severe storms, increasingly colder winters, cool springs and warmer falls effect everything we do, from sowing seeds to calving."
Researchers found similar increases in temperatures and extreme weather across the country. In every state, young adults are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation. The biggest rain and snowstorms produce 10 percent more rainfall in 2011 than they did in 1948.
According to the report, the temperature will have risen 5-10 °F by the end of the century--when children now will be reaching retirement age--if the United States and the world continue to emit more carbon pollution.
To avoid increasing average temperature and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment Ohio advocates dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires a 22% reduction in power plant emissions by 2030. Senator Sherrod Brown's continued support of that plan is critical, advocates said today.
“We need leaders like Senator Brown to champion dramatic cuts in pollution, starting with the Clean Power Plan, so that we don’t pass down a more dangerous climate to the next generation,” concluded Lotze.
Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center is a statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.EnvironmentOhiocenter.org