The Northeast region is susceptible to extreme heat events, increased rainfall and flooding, and sea level rise. While the region currently only experiences two or three days a year with temperatures over 95˚F, that number could rise as high as 57 days by 2100.
According to the Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment Update, the state has already warmed by 1.8˚F since 1900, with up to 5.4˚F more warming expected over the coming 35 years. That would give Pittsburgh heat like DC experiences, and Philadelphia would have Richmond VA’s weather.
According to the report, this warming would reduce Pennsylvania’s ski season, strengthen extreme storms, and of course cause more intense summer heat waves. Agriculture will be damaged by an influx of pests evening as growing seasons might lengthen due to longer warm spells, while health imperiled by the northward expansion of mosquito-borne diseases like lyme and West Nile.
Pennsylvania’s Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions:
The latest Gallup poll reveals that at 64 percent, serious concern for global warming is at an eight-year high across the country.
62 percent of Pennsylvanians understand global warming is already happening and over half are worried about its impact.
77 percent support funding research into renewable energy resources.
67 percent support requiring coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions with only 28 percent opposing the Clean Power Plan.
Pennsylvania’s 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard sets a target of generating 18 percent of its energy from renewables by 2021. Through 2011, 86% of the progress made on that goal has been from wind.
There are up to 2,000 wind-related jobs in Pennsylvania, which has an installed wind capacity of 1,340 MW, ranking 16th across the country and amounting to enough to power 329,000 homes.
Pennsylvania has 258 MW of installed solar capacity, ranking it 15th in the nation. Its solar industry employs over 2,000 people while providing clean energy for 30,000 homes.
Penn State won an almost $3 million grant from the federal government to advance solar panel research.