Polar vortex, weather vs. climate, & Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) funding awards

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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News from the Office of Climate Change

January 10, 2018

Earth & Climate Photo Op

Niagara Falls frozen from extreme coldExtreme cold at the end of 2017 has frozen all but the moving water at Niagara Falls. Recent research suggests that a warming arctic may be contributing to cold snaps like this one in the Northeastern U.S. as a result of a weakened polar vortex. Photo by Arjun Yadav (@arjsun)/Instagram.

Things We Like

The iMATTER movement organizes youth to spark change across the country. They call on other youth to participate in a shift to a sustainable society by holding leaders accountable, starting or joining teams at schools, and building a national movement of young people to stand together and say “WE MATTER.”

The international Flame Challenge challenges scientists at every level – from graduate students to senior researchers – to communicate familiar yet complex concepts in ways that are understandable to an 11-year-old. The 2018 challenge asks, "What is Climate?"

Get Help

Have a business and interested in “going green? Technical assistance is available through the New York Green Business (NYGB) program, which also provides recognition and incentives to businesses and other entities that are committed to sustainable practices and conserving New York's environment and natural resources.

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“Weekly or daily weather patterns tell you nothing about longer-term climate change (and that goes for the warm days too). Climate is defined as the statistical properties of the atmosphere: averages, extremes, frequency of occurrence, deviations from normal, and so forth. The clothes that you have on today do not describe what you have in your closet but rather how you dressed for today's weather. In reality, your closest is likely packed with coats, swimsuits, t-shirts, rain boots, and gloves. In other words, what's in your closet is a representation of ‘climate.’"

A Response for People Using Record Cold U.S. Weather to Refute Climate Change, published December 28, 2017 on forbes.com.

States and Regions

On December 13, 2017, Governor Cuomo announced more than $755 million in economic and community development funding awards through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Round Two of NYSDEC’s Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Grants was included in this announcement. CSC grants provide 50/50 matching grants to cities, towns, villages, and counties (or boroughs of New York City) in the State for eligible climate adaptation and mitigation projects.

By the Numbers

210…Registered Climate Smart Communities
16…Certified Climate Smart Communities
408…current atmospheric CO2 concentration (in ppm)
16...number of billion-dollar weather disasters in 2017 (thru 10/6/17)

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