Across New York State, average temperatures are increasing. Heavy rain events and heat waves have become more frequent and longer. Along the coastline, sea levels are rising. Scientists predict that in New York State and elsewhere, these changes will continue and accelerate. Past climate experience is no longer a reliable guide to the future.
In New York State, climate change is already having a profound impact on society, the economy, and natural ecosystems. The agricultural growing season is fluctuating. Coastal and inland flooding is happening more often. Populations of plants and wildlife are changing. Catastrophic weather events are more likely, and their costs to human life and buildings is increasing.
NYSERDA’s Role in Fighting Climate Change
Because greenhouse gas emissions from energy production are the primary cause of climate change, NYSERDA is focusing on helping New Yorkers use less energy and getting the energy they need from clean, renewable sources. We aim to improve human health and protect New York’s natural resources by minimizing the impacts of generating and using energy.
NYSERDA also conducts research related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. NYSERDA’s Environmental Research Program supports research specifically to:
- Evaluate the potential of mitigation strategies (energy efficiency and renewable energy) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Assess climate change impacts and adaptation strategies (preparing for the current and projected climate changes)
- Conduct research and analysis on climate change policies in New York State.
Climate Change Across Sectors
To help better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change, NYSERDA supports adaptation research projects. NYSERDA’s ClimAID Report contains climate projections (updated in 2014), impacts and vulnerabilities, and potential adaptation strategies for a range of sectors across the State. To help fill in knowledge gaps related to adapting to climate change, NYSERDA releases competitive solicitations to address some of those needs. Read descriptions of funded research projects [PDF]. Completed projects are documented in final project reports.
New York State Climate Impacts Assessment
NYSERDA is leading a comprehensive assessment of observed and projected impacts of climate change on New York State: the “New York State Climate Impacts Assessment: Understanding and Preparing for Our Changing Climate.” This ambitious effort will assess how climate change will affect New York's communities, ecosystems, and economy, and may inform climate choices at all levels of decision-making in the State.
This assessment will provide credible, science-based information what to expect from climate change in New York under various scenarios and will seek to communicate this information in ways that are actionable, relevant, and easy to understand.
The assessment will help residents, businesses, and decision makers across New York plan and prepare for climate change impacts. More broadly, it will clearly demonstrate the benefits of taking action to adapt to future climate conditions—in addition to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change—while such action is still meaningful and possible.