Impact of climate change

Ohio experienced the effects of higher temperatures in 1993. While other states flooded, Ohio had the driest August on record since 1895. While climate models vary on the amount of temperature increase possible, potential risks include having decreased water supplies, increased risk for wildfires, population (both human and animal) displacement, changes in food production (with agriculture improving in cooler climates and suffering in warmer climates), and changes in rain patterns to downpours, with the potential for flash flooding and health risks of certain infectious diseases from water contamination or disease-carrying vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, and rodents, and heat-related illnesses. Warmer temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses and lead to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution, causing respiratory illnesses, especially in Ohio's major cities, where air pollution problems already exist.

Higher temperatures and more frequent heat waves could raise average summer temperatures in Cleveland to Cincinnati's level, and Cincinnati's summer temperature to Atlanta's levels. With increased rain, the state's water supply would recharge, potentially causing increased soil erosion, providing additional flooding in places where flooding already occurs on an almost annual basis. Warmer temperatures would increase summer soil temperatures and increase evaporation rates, possibly requiring costly investment in irrigation systems. The coal mining and utility sectors would suffer losses with increasing global warming mitigation. Metal industries would particularly benefit from increased demand for metals, machinery and other components that would result from increased demand for products such as wind turbines and energy-efficient equipment. The increase in demand for alternative fuels such as ethanol would benefit the state's agricultural sector. Ohio is the nation's sixth largest corn producing state, and because of its location, it can easily serve the east coast.

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