How could climate change impact our area?

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:43 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act this week which includes the largest investment in tackling climate change of any country.

This summer, several communities across the country have been devastated by flash flooding among other extreme weather events like heatwaves and significant droughts.

Climate change is going to also impact our area one way or another.

“The Shenandoah Valley is uniquely situated. We are surrounded by mountains and we are in a temperate environment that’s relatively buffered from the extreme events of climate change, but that doesn’t mean we won’t feel anything in the very near future. We are feeling it right now,” said Bill Lukens, of the JMU Department of Geology and Environmental Science.

Bill Lukens said flash flooding is a primary event to look out for in our area. However, that’s not the only thing that could significantly impact us.

“The lowest temperature that the night gets is increasing, so we are getting warmer nights. This is something that particularly impacts the elderly and those at risk. For example, heart and pulmonary problems,” said Lukens.

Lukens also said warmer nights can really start to run up your electric bill.

He also said we can expect floods like the one in Staunton two years ago to be more common.