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The looming storm

Notes from the North Woods

Daily rainfall records collected from a variety of Adirondack weather stations over the past century reveal that "extreme rainfall events" of 2 inches of rain or more have become common in recent years.

It is no surprise, for as the climate warms, more moisture is released into the atmosphere. And we all know, “What goes up, must eventually come down.”

According to international climate scientists, climate change will result in more frequent droughts, heavier floods and more prolonged heat waves. Eventually, the experts predict, conditions may become so increasingly severe that some locations will only be “marginal as places to live.”

Scientists expect climate change will have a variety of serious side effects in the Adirondacks, according to a recent study conducted by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority.

Projections indicate a rise of just 2 degrees in the average temperature will significantly reduce the costs associated with heating our homes. It sounds good to me!

However, these changes may also require us to learn how to deal with 90 to 100 degree temperatures. And there will be other effects as well. Maple production will suffer, or possibly disappear all together. Cold water species such as brook trout may be threatened by competition with warm water species such as bass, perch or the introduction of invasive species.

With the rise in temperature, air quality will be reduced, and there will be more pollen, and more allergies. Warming trends will disrupt many traditional Adirondack pursuits, and the threat of invasive species will increase.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be among the first to experience the impact of climate change, which will affect many of their activities. Many long held, Adirondack sporting traditions will be affected. Ski seasons will be condensed, as will other winter activities such as snowmobiling, ice fishing, pond hockey, as well as the availability of tracking snow during the big game hunting season.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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