02/19/18

Climate change planning underway for central Ohio

A task force led by researchers at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) at The Ohio State University has released a draft action plan to help central Ohio prepare for climate change.View of downtown buildings with river in foreground

The public is invited to review and comment on the report through March 9, after which the task force will present a finalized document to the Columbus City Council and Mayor Andrew Ginther.

BPCRC researchers collaborated with more than 75 local stakeholders and technical experts to develop the action plan, which outlines recommendations for adapting to extreme heat, deteriorating air quality, flooding, varied water quality and other changes that are expected to come with climate change. The report also addresses considerations for emergency preparedness and protecting vulnerable populations.

Jason Cervenec, education and outreach director for BPCRC and chair of the task force, said that public feedback is essential to the action plan’s success.

“We want to make sure that those individuals who have not been directly involved in the process, who may be long-term residents of the city or experts in fields that have not yet contributed, have a chance to provide information,” said Cervenec.

“Our goal has been to cast a wide net to provide the city with a comprehensive document that can best inform its operations and planning. While the city will need to decide how to address each of the actions recommended in the document, we believe it’s important to empower citizens, while there is time to act, with knowledge of the climate change impacts that experts agree are likely to occur.”

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