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Climate change planning underway for central Ohio

Taken together, the projections suggest that young and elderly residents of central Ohio will be especially vulnerable to heat stress in summer. Homes and businesses will need to consume more electricity for air conditioning. And while Columbus is one of ...

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Climate change planning underway for central Ohio | The Ohio State University div#buckeye_alert { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 15px; padding-right: 15px; } _tcaq.push(['capture', 'Content View']); Ohio State nav bar Skip to main content The Ohio State University Help BuckeyeLink Map Find People Webmail Search Ohio State Ohio State News Main navigation Skip to main content Menu Home News Contacts Experts Most Popular Experts Experts by College Experts by Topic Studio Locations Downloads Search Climate change planning underway for central Ohio Public comment invited ahead of report to City of Columbus By: Pam Frost Gorder Published on February 16, 2018 The Scioto River and downtown Columbus, OhioPhoto courtesy of Jason Cervenec, The Ohio State University. COLUMBUS, Ohio—A task force led by researchers at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) at The Ohio State University has released a draft action plan to help central Ohio prepare for climate change.The public is invited to review and comment on the report through March 9, after which the task force will present a finalized document to the Columbus City Council and Mayor Andrew Ginther.BPCRC researchers collaborated with more than 75 local stakeholders and technical experts to develop the action plan, which outlines recommendations for adapting to extreme heat, deteriorating air quality, flooding, varied water quality and other changes that are expected to come with climate changeThe report also addresses considerations for emergency preparedness and protecting vulnerable populations.Jason CervenecJason Cervenec, education and outreach director for BPCRC and chair of the task force, said that public feedback is essential to the action plan’s success.“We want to make sure that those individuals who have not been directly involved in the process, who may be long-term residents of the city or experts in fields that have not yet contributed, have a chance to provide information,” said Cervenec.“Our goal has been to cast a wide net to provide the city with a comprehensive document that can best inform its operations and planningWhile the city will need to decide how to address each of the actions recommended in the document, we believe it’s important to empower citizens, while there is time to act, with knowledge of the climate change impacts that experts agree are likely to occur.”Other cities around the country, including Chicago and Baltimore, have developed similar action plansSo have Toledo, Dayton, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.“Many cities are developing action plans, but I would argue that ours is one of the most comprehensive in the MidwestWe first explored the climate impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities facing Columbus and built the document to directly address those concerns,” Cervenec said.Activity timeline for the Columbus ClimateChange Task Force(Click for full size.)Image courtesy of Jason Cervenec, TheOhio State University.The recommendations build upon a prior report, Columbus Climate Change in Ohio, developed in 2016 through a collaboration among the university, the City of Columbus and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment team.That previous report shows that average annual temperatures in Columbus rose by 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1951 through 2012—higher than both national and global averagesAt the same time, Columbus precipitation totals have risen nearly 20 percent and heavy storms are happening more than 30 percent more frequently.Central Ohio is likely to see increasing temperatures—especially at night—along with flash-flooding and bouts of low water quality over the coming decades, according to the task forceThe biggest risks come from warmer, wetter conditions for most of the year, with increased likelihood of flash-flooding and potentially more property damage in Columbus during the spring through fall.Taken together, the projections suggest that young and elderly residents of central Ohio will be especially vulnerable to heat stress in summerHomes and businesses will need to consume more electricity for air conditioningAnd while Columbus is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation—with an expected influx of at least half a million people by 2035—construction companies will have to contend with workers laboring in extreme heat as they build new infrastructure.Dealing with these expected challenges will require the public and private sectors to work together to find solutions, Cervenec saidHe hopes that the Columbus action plan can serve as a model for other regions of the state that support both urban and agricultural life.Residents can submit their feedback through March 9 on a web form at, and address questions to Cervenec at 614-688-0080 or Related images The Scioto River and downtown Columbus, OhioPhoto courtesy of Jason Cervenec, The Ohio State University- Download Activity timeline for the Columbus Climate Change Task ForceImage courtesy of Jason Cervenec, The Ohio State University- Download Share this article Contacts Jason Cervenec 614-688-0080 | Email Pam Frost Gorder 614-292-9475 | Email CONTACTS 24-Hour Media Line 614-292-9681 View full contact list RESOURCES University Communications Campus communications coordinators Senior leadership Statistical summary FEEDS RSS Feed @OhioStateNews @osuresearch SUBSCRIBE Enter your email to receive Ohio State News What is 20 - 4? 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