Good news: As the planet steeps to a boil and rising seas swallow Manhattan, Miami and San Francisco, Northeast Pennsylvania will stay high and dry — at least those communities above the floodline. As Times-Tribune staff writer Brendan Gibbons reports today, a new state-sponsored study (containing numbers, empirical evidence and other “sciency” stuff) estimates that by 2050, our climate will be more like Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.
Average temperatures will rise by 5 or 6 degrees and snow and rain will be 5 to 10 percent heavier.
“The scientific data is clear: climate change is happening and there will be impacts to Pennsylvania,” said Penn State professor and Environmental and Natural Resources Institute director James Shortle, Ph.D., the lead researcher. “The effects of climate change will be felt across all parts of Pennsylvania. Agriculture, human health, water quality, energy, even outdoor recreation will be affected.”
Dairy cows might suffer sun-dried udders. Ski resorts may melt away. Car accidents, house fires and water main breaks could go unreported as local TV news stations drop the pretense and go all-weather, all the time. Energy providers, water parks and West Nile Virus should thrive, if that’s any consolation.
If a polar bear floated down the Susquehanna River, some climate change deniers would remain defiantly unconvinced. They trust amateur meteorologists like Rush Limbaugh — a 400-pound former disc jockey and prescription drug abuser — over the overwhelming majority of scientists inhabiting the planet. That’s their prerogative, but I’m gonna go ahead and get me and mine to higher ground.