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Climate Change: Outlook for Ohio to 2050

Climate Change: Outlook for Ohio to 2050

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Climate Change: Outlook for Ohio to 2050

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  1. Climate Change: Outlook for Ohio to 2050 Thomas W. Blaine, Ph.D. Associate Professor Ohio State University Extension October 15, 2009

  2. Ohio’s climate has changed in the past 150 years • it is about 1.2 degrees F warmer in the 2000s than in the 1860s • the northern portion has warmed more than the south • the northern portion has gotten wetter, while the south has received less precipitation

  3. Looking out to 2050 Ohio’s average warming will be about the same as for the planet generally if we assume CO2 at 450 PPM, and an average warming of 1.75 to 2.00 degrees, then:

  4. climate zones will shift imagine northern tier counties like Hancock, Richland, Wayne and Mahoning with climates we see today in southern tier counties like Adams, Scioto, Lawrence, and Gallia

  5. In general the state’s climate will be about like current climate in Missouri

  6. the greatest temperature changes would occur in the winter months • winters will be mild • Lake Erie will not freeze (winter of 2001-2002 was like this) • winters will be rainier and less snowy • there will be an increased tendency toward more “ice storms” – freezing rain events

  7. Lake Erie levels will likely fall due to increased evaporation and use of water resources for irrigation this will present some challenges to navigation and marinas – more frequent dredging will be required cold water fish species like musky and trout would begin to be replaced by other species like blue gill and bass

  8. Challenges and opportunities for agriculture • farmers are resilient and will adapt • the 120 day corn we currently see grown in the south will replace the 105 day corn currently grown in the north • crops not currently grown in the state will likely be introduced – such as cotton in the south

  9. Challenges and opportunities for agriculture (Continued) • Livestock operations will be under pressure -particularly dairy - milk per cow is negatively associated with higher summer temperatures (St-Pierre et al, 2003) • increased tendency for summer drought will challenge farmers, and will probably lead to more reliance on irrigation

  10. Annual household energy demand will likely fall winter household heating requirements will fall substantially - more than offsetting increased demand for cooling in the summer

  11. Management matters – decisions matter Much of what happens will depend upon how we respond to the challenges and opportunities of living in a warmer Ohio

  12. References/ Reading • Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (2004). A Report of the National Assessment Synthesis Team, U.S. Global Change Research Program, available at • Global Climate Change: NASA’s Eyes on the Earth (2009). Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, available at • Blaine, Thomas W. (1996). Global Climate Change, CDFS 186-96, available at

  13. References/Reading (Continued) • St-Pierre, Cobanov and Schnitkey (2003). Economic Losses from Heat Stress by US Livestock Industries, Journal of Dairy Science. 86: E52-E77 • Christy, J.R. and R.W. Spencer, (2007). “Taking Earth's Temperature,” UAH News, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, available at • 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports, US Environmental Protection Agency, available at

  14. Please feel free to contact me • • 330-466-7877