Experts discuss how climate change affects Ohio

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 6:05 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - From Hurricane Idalia to the wildfires in Hawaii, experts say extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. While Ohio wasn’t impacted by those weather events, scientists say climate change is still affecting the state.

“Those weather extremes are just manifestations of a changing climate,” said Climatologist Aaron Wilson. “One of the ways we can think about what climate change is representing is an increase in temperature and an increase in moisture, and storms like hurricanes just feed off that.”

Wilson says climate change is fueling the extreme weather all over the globe, including in Ohio.

“We know that it’s getting warmer,” said Wilson. “Two to three degrees Fahrenheit over the last 60 to 70 years.”

That might not seem like much but Wilson says it the slight increase in degrees could affect seasonal weather.

“Think about the climate of Ohio being more like Arkansas. That’s what a three degrees temperature rise looks like,” said Wilson. “It means more 100 degrees during the summer. It means winters where you rarely see a snowfall.”

In addition to the heat, extreme rainfall and 100-year floods are becoming more common.

“When people do migrate because of rising sea levels, where are they going to go? The Great Lakes are often touted as the place to go,” said Wilson.

It’s a challenge that Wilson says his students are Ohio State University are ready to face.

“How can I work with the climate information and climate data to improve our future world? I think young students are really motivated to do that and to kind of take ownership of what we’ve done collectively, but then come up with solutions,” said Wilson.

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