In this week’s ‘Two Degree Difference’, we re-examine some simple facts about climate change and how it’s impacting Vermont from season to season all by reflecting on Vermont’s 2021 Climate Assessment. We’re looking back on that data today to help lay the groundwork for next week’s ‘Two Degree Difference’ where we will dive deeper into some newer information recently released about the current state of our climate.
In 2021, the Vermont Climate Assessment acknowledged several different, yet important statistics pertaining to how our warming planet is contributing to Vermont weather patterns. They noted that temperatures have increased more than 2 degrees since 1900 with one and a half degrees of that warming occurring since 1960.
We have experienced an uptick in precipitation by 21 percent since 1900 which tallies out to more downpours and more than seven and a half inches of additional rainfall per year; so who benefits from all this crazy climate change driven weather and who gets hurt the most? First and foremost, certain trees such as black cherries and northern red oaks experience benefits from a warmer and wetter climate. However, with all the good can come bad and that’s the case here. Sugar-maplers, over 92 bird species including the common Loon, and the ever elusive moose will all be negatively impacted by our warming climate. In fact, we stand a chance of the Loon actually disappearing from Vermont altogether if we don’t change our ways.
Lastly, do you place bets on when Joe’s Pond will ice out each year? The Vermont Climate Assessment shows that the ice out has been occurring about three and a half days earlier than usual dating back to the late 1980s. Whether it’s on the state or hyper local scale, climate change continues to account for many negative changes to the landscape of the Green Mountain State.