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Letter: Climate change will play a role in Buffalo winters

Climate change will play a role in Buffalo winters

A recent News article draws us back to the horrors of last winter and previews its imminent approach. Experts may argue whether or not we might see more severe weather patterns and people can speculate. Yet I believe a crucial part of the discussion is being ignored. Climate change is beginning to play a role in Western New York winters and it is time we start talking about its implications.

The U.S. Global Climate Research Program, which publishes the National Climate Assessment, reported that precipitation rates are not only rising, but also becoming increasingly capricious. Northeastern cites like Buffalo have lake-effect snow to contend with as well. While it wouldn’t be accurate to say that climate change accounts for every instance of severe lake-effect snow, it is very difficult to deny that slight increases in temperature act as a multiplier for lake-effect events. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has produced some illuminating reports on this issue, which I would encourage skeptics to examine.

Climate change is not reserved for coastal cities, agricultural communities and marginalized populations. We are beginning to feel its effects right here at home. It is time for city leaders and area lawmakers to at least begin discussing climate change as an underlying issue, so that we may become better prepared as a community when bracing ourselves for another long Buffalo winter.

Mario Ayoub