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Weather events prompt discussion on climate change

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Buffalo: Weather events prompt discussion on climate change
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At times, it's been a hot political topic. Governor Cuomo even went out of his way Thursday to address it climate change. YNN's Katie Cummings spoke with an expert about the trends and what they may mean for the future.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Superstorm Sandy hit parts of downstate New York last week and the region is now dealing with a nor’easter that blanketed the area with snow.

With an economic cost to the state of at least $33 billion, the weather patterns have prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to start looking ahead.

"Climate change is a reality. We can have a great political argument about the causes. I want to pass that step. That political argument has gridlocked us from moving forward for too long," said Cuomo.

In order to do that, a Buffalo State College professor believes it would require a lifestyle change for people.

"Everyone would have to use less, drive less. Consume less materials. Because the number one form of renewable energy is conservation," said Buffalo State Professor, Dr. Robert Warren.

Warren says several factors have contributed to events like Sandy and the drought this past summer across the country. Warren says they include a change in rain patterns, high CO2 levels, and warm ocean waters.

"The record sea surface temperatures of the Atlantic would totally explain record snow. That’s, that you have an Arctic blast, you have warm moist air, boom. It will have impact on the intensity of storms, the track of storms," said Warren.

In his studies, Warren’s says he's witnessed climate change in Antarctica where warmth resistant penguins are moving inland and plants are growing on outer islands. To confirm the change, he says it will take scientists many years but time is also running out.

"Worldwide we burn something along the equivalent of ten thousand years of stored carbon per day. Probably in the next decade if we don’t turn things around it's going to be too late,” said Warren.

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