How climate change impacts Central Illinois

"Over the last six months, we've worked for more than with more than 75 partners to catalyze...
"Over the last six months, we've worked for more than with more than 75 partners to catalyze public and private investment in climate smart agriculture and food system innovation," Biden said. (Source: HOST TV via CNN Newsource)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 11:51 AM CDT
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PEORIA (25 NEWS) - The COP26 Climate Summit is currently happening in Glasgow, Scotland with many of the world’s most powerful countries in attendance to seek one goal: a collaborative policy on how to deal with Climate Change.

President Biden is attending, representing the United States and earlier Monday apologized for the previous administration withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.

When looking at the data for Climate Change on a global scale things are fairly black and white. Temperatures have risen significantly since the start of the Industrial Revolution. However, when you look at statistics for a state or city, things look a little differently. When bringing the data down to the local scale, you must begin considering other phenomena besides just temperature.

We spoke to the Illinois State Climatologist earlier Monday, Dr. Trent Ford, about how climate change is impacting the state and the answer is not as clear as you may think it would be. He discussed how the temperature has gone up considerably on a global scale, but here in Illinois, he is looking at something different, and potentially more devastating.

“We have extreme precipitation, which I would argue the last 30-50 years ago largest impacts, you know, historically to noise changing precipitation. Precipitation tends to because of that because we’re getting overall more precipitation, but also that precipitation is falling in shorter intervals and heavier amounts.” Said Dr. Ford.

Extreme precipitation events have been observed just this year, with the Bloomington-Normal Area receiving a very large amount of rain over just one weekend earlier in the summer. The same thing happened in Peoria last year, where the airport recorded over 5 inches of rainfall in just 6 hours.

When discussing extreme rainfall becoming more prevalent, we are talking about those flooding events where rain is falling quickly over a very short amount of time. This happened just last month. These are being observed more frequently.

Dr. Ford discussed temperature as well with extreme heat periods being likely to get longer and hotter in Illinois. Summer, this year, extended well into September and even October saw over a dozen days with temperatures above average.

“Projections telling us from models that over the next 100 years we’ll see temperatures increase at a much faster rate towards you know, the last 30 or 50 years. We increased temperatures in the summertime its exposure to extreme heat causes significant public health implications and longer longevity of, of ticks and mosquitoes that can bring significant diseases.” Said Dr. Ford.

He went on to discuss that when you’re reading about the Climate Summit this year, remember that the policies they are trying to make will help Central Illinois in the long run. The point of the Summit is to have a collective agreement to tackle the ongoing causes of manmade climate change, mainly being greenhouse gasses. As the countries that expel the most greenhouse gasses (methane, carbon dioxide) begin to control that release, models show that the effects of climate change can be brought under control as well.

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