HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s average temperature will be 5.9 degrees higher by 2050, according to a new study by state officials.
The Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment, produced by the state Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently released the plan and Gov. Tom Wolf expressed concerns over the findings.
“On our current path, the Pennsylvania our children and grandchildren inherit will be very different from the one we grew up in and continue to enjoy today,” Wolf said in a news release.
“We simply cannot afford to ignore the warning signs, and this report underscores the critical need to take action to reduce emissions and do our part to address climate change.”
Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment 2021 uses federal, state, and local data to show the trend of rising temperatures and increasing rainfall and project how it will continue until 2070 if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t lowered.
More heatwaves will occur, with the average number of days over 90 degrees each year increasing to 37 days and, in some areas, 60 days by 2050, compared to five days annually between 1971 to 2000.
There also likely will be an increase of 8 percent in precipitation, with more frequent and heavy rainfall.
“Data show that Pennsylvania’s average temperature has been rising, heavy rainfall events are increasing, and these climate changes will continue with considerable impact on our lives and economy by mid-century,” Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell said.
“Reducing greenhouse Pennsylvanians’ health is assessed to be at catastrophic risk from heatwaves. The cause of most weather-related fatalities in the United States, heat waves can lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke.”
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