Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Attorney general's report says NY is experiencing heavier rainfall

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Rain storms are increasingly drenching New York and global warming is to blame. That's the crux of a report released this morning by the state Attorney General's Office. It says that the entire state is experiencing heavier rain storms more often. But that conclusion shouldn't come as a shock, since climate scientists have been warning as much for years. 

The AG's Office report includes an analysis, sourced from the 2014 National Climate Assessment, laying out one pattern. According to the report, states in the Northeast saw a 71 percent increase in the amount of water that fell during the heaviest 1 percent of "precipitation events" between 1958 and 2012.

The report also says that there are fewer years between the heaviest of storms and that the intervals will become shorter if global carbon emissions aren't rapidly and drastically reduced.

But the report isn't a scientific document, per se. A press release from the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says that the report is meant to stress "the need to focus on greater resiliency planning and response measures for our infrastructure, neighborhoods and landscape in order to promote a safer and more sustainable New York."

The Rochester and Finger Lakes regions experienced the damage that strong rain storms can cause a few times this summer. In July, heavy rains wiped out sections of road in some Ontario and Livingston County towns. And in May, flooding caused millions of dollars of damage in Penn Yan. 

The report concludes with a call for the state to continue taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; for communities to consider patterns of extreme precipitation in their planning efforts and construction projects; and for state officials to work on national and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


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