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Report: Ohio Millennials Grew Up Under Stormier Skies

PHOTO: According to Environment Ohio, intense storms have led to a 12 percent increase in precipitation Ohioans have experienced over the past 40 years, and temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees over the last five generations. Photo credit: missprint2/morguefile.
PHOTO: According to Environment Ohio, intense storms have led to a 12 percent increase in precipitation Ohioans have experienced over the past 40 years, and temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees over the last five generations. Photo credit: missprint2/morguefile.
April 10, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It may have been a stormy childhood for Ohio's millennial generation. Literally.

A new report from the Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center found that today's young adults are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than did previous generations. According to the findings, scientists have linked recent increases in extreme precipitation events to climate change because warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air.

Chrissie Laymon, who owns a farm in Knox County, said she has seen how unpredictable weather patterns are impacting agricultural production.

"One of those storms can wipe us out for the entire year or worse because of an increase in hail," she said. "Strong, straight-line winds have wrecked a lot of havoc for us, and the really cold winters are really hard on our livestock. "

The report found a 12 percent increase in precipitation in Ohio over the past four decades, as well as a 1.5-degree increase in temperatures over the past five generations.

Nate Lotze, a campaign organizer for Environment Ohio, said the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan is a step in the right direction to reduce carbon pollution that fuels climate change. In Ohio, he said, it will come down to how Gov. John Kasich chooses to implement the plan.

"Hopefully he does it in a way that maximizes investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency," Lotze said, "and if the plan is implemented here in Ohio in the right way, it will help to get our state on the right track and be a part of a bigger national plan."

Ohio's power plant emissions are the fourth highest in the nation, and the proposed plan calls for the state to reduce emissions by more than 27 percent by 2030. The EPA is expected to finalize the rules this summer.

The report is online at environmentohio.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH