PSU Environment and Natural Resources Institute (2009, 2013) Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment & Update

August 17, 2015 | Comments Off on PSU Environment and Natural Resources Institute (2009, 2013) Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment & Update

In 2009, faculty from Penn State’s Environment and Natural Resources Institute delivered¬†The Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment¬†(PCIA) at the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. They report that Pennsylvania could warm by as much as 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the 21st century under a high emissions scenario and about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahnrenheit) under a moderate emissions scenario (scenarios based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s A2 and B1 scenarios from the 2007 AR4 report). Annual precipitation would increase with the largest increases likely to occur in the winter. Droughts are predicted to increase in duration and intensity as is the intensity of precipitation. The growing season is predicted to begin earlier and end later. The impact of these changes were assessed for¬†agriculture, ecosystems, energy, fisheries, forests, human health, insurance, outdoor recreation, tourism, water, wildlife, and the general economy.

In 2013, the PSU ENRI scientists followed up with an updated PCIA. They assessed effects on the same sectors except insurance and the general economy because insurance is well-positioned in Pennsylvania under projected scenarios and the general economy would be little affected. The update does include simulations from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) that were used to model impacts on the other sectors. All sectors will be affected by climate change. The linked file is to the 2013 PCIA.

Penn State’s Sustainability Institute executive director Dr. Denice Wardrop was one of the PCIA authors.