Online Tool Shows Climate Change Effects for Every Maryland County

Bay Journal article (2018-10-29) reported that Cornell University has created new online tool that provides a county-by-county breakdown on the current and future effects of climate change with respect to temperature and precipitation. For most counties within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the tool shows that more recent years are hotter and subject to more precipitation.

The tool, called Climate Smart Farming (CSF) is designed to show how the climate has changed in the Northeastern United States since 1950. A user can use a clickable map to show actual data from  every year and county from 1950 through 2013. Projected temperature and precipitation data for every covered county is also included out through 2099. CSF includes data for Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Vermont, and West Virginia. Virginia and the District of Columbia are not covered under CSF.

The article stated that the tool was created by Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and is targeted to farmers. However, the data and projections can be helpful to anyone who wants to understand how temperatures and precipitation are changing locally. The article also provides a series of examples about what CSF shows for various counties, including several from Maryland:

In Maryland’s Prince George’s County, the typical low temperature has warmed up a full 1 degree per decade since 1980. …

Worcester County in Maryland, home to the oceanfront resort of Ocean City, is adding more days with temperatures of 90 degrees and higher to its calendar. Three of the four years with the most days over 90 degrees have come since 2010. …

There are two [projection] models, showing the forecasts under high– and low-emissions scenarios. For example, the annual average temperature in Frederick County, MD, is predicted to increase from 52.6 degrees in 2013 to 60 degrees by the end of the century under the low-emission scenario or soar to 64.9 degrees assuming high emissions persist.

Useful Links

CSF Program Webpage