Climate change threatens the health and safety of people, the economy, and environment, locally and globally. In Cuyahoga County, we are already seeing the impacts of a changing climate: warming temperatures, increasing rainfall, decreasing ice cover on Lake Erie, and a longer growing season.

Using data from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, the following graphs show trends in temperature and precipitation change for Cuyahoga County over the following periods: Historic 100-yr average (1918-2017), 30-yr “normal” average (1981-2010), and the most recent 10-yr average (2008-2017).

Temperature

Bar graph comparing the Annual Average Temperature for the county from three climate periods: historic 100 years, 30 year normal, and recent ten yearRecent 10-year vs.

  • 100-year increased by 0.9oF
  • 30-year increased by 0.7oF

bar graphs comparing the average seasonal temperature trends over the following period: historic 100 years, 30 year normal, and recent ten yearRecent 10-year vs. 100-year:

  • Spring increased by 2.1oF
  • Fall increased by 1.4oF
  • Winter increased by 1.0oF
  • Summer increased by 0.5oF

Precipitation

Bar graph comparing the Annual Average precipitation for the county from three climate periods: historic 100 years, 30 year normal, and recent ten year

Recent 10-year vs.

  • 100-year increased by 26.2%
  • 30-year increased by 16.6%

Bar graph comparing the seasonal precipitation trends for the county from three climate periods: historic 100 years, 30 year normal, and recent ten yearRecent 10-year vs. 100-year:

  • Winter increased by 18.7%
  • Fall increased by 14.4%

Bar graph comparing extreme precipitation for the county from three climate periods: historic 100 years, 30 year normal, and recent ten year

Recent 10-year vs.

  • 100-year increased by 26.2%
  • 30-year increased by 16.6%

Ice Cover

Annual Average Ice Cover* on Lake Erie
graph shows annual average ice cover decreasing on lake erie
*measured in km2
Great Lakes Ice Coverage Decline
1973-2010
All Great Lakes71%
Lake Ontario88%
Lake Superior79%
Lake Michigan77%
Lake Huron62%
Lake Erie50%
Lake St. Clair37%

Data reported by the Great Lakes Integrated Science and Assessments show a dramatic decline in Annual Average Ice Cover for all of the Great Lakes (71%), including Lake Erie (50%) over a nearly 30-year period.? Reduced ice cover allows for increased evaporation from the lakes, causing the locally well-know lake effect snows under cold winter conditions, and generally increased precipitation otherwise.

Growing Season

This image shows maps of USDA hardiness zones in 1990 and 2015. The Arbor Day Foundation has recently completed an extensive updating of U.S. Hardiness Zones based upon data from 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the continental United States.” Our area has fully shifted from Zone 5 to Zone 6, which will not only affect which trees are right for planting, but also introduce a variety of environmental health impacts.

Health Impacts

Changes in climate and our growing season, in particular, will introduce many new plants, insects, and arthropods to our area. Many of these species are known carriers of disease and are emerging threats to both ecosystem and human health.

The Ohio Department of Health recorded 34 human cases of West Nile Virus in 2017.? In addition, cases of Lyme disease have increased dramatically over the past ten years.

This graph shows the prevalence of lyme disease in Ohio Counties

More health impacts of climate change for our region will be addressed in our planning process.

Climate Change Projections

Various aspects of our climate are projected to change at different rates based on GHG emissions scenarios. See the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit for details on these projections in Cuyahoga County.

Climate Vulnerability Assessment

The impacts of a changing climate will be experienced differently by residents across Cuyahoga County, influenced by factors such as income, age, health, and where they live. We have completed a Climate & Social Vulnerability map tool that layers social (e.g., income, age, mobility) and physical factors (e.g., flooding, housing stock age, proximity to heat islands) to identify areas in the county where populations are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

picture of vulnerability map tool
Screenshot of the คาสิโนฟรีไม่มีเงินฝาก ไทยinteractive map tool