Date of Publication

5-3-2013

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Earth Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Whitney J. Autin

Abstract

The climate is changing globally and in the northeast United States. Evidence of climate change should also be found in Buffalo, New York, located along the eastern shore of Lake Erie. My hypotheses are that average winter temperatures and snowfall should be increasing, Lake Erie should be freezing at a later date, and Lake Erie’s ice cover should affect snowfall amounts. The warmer temperatures would lead to Lake Erie’s surface water temperature being higher, resulting in less ice cover. The lack of ice would lead to more lake effect snow over Buffalo. The city of Buffalo, New York has experienced a limited change in climate over the past 67 years. Winter snowfall and December snowfall and temperatures have increased over time when a three year moving average is used to reduce the high variability in the raw data. Winter temperatures and January and February temperatures and snowfall amounts have not changed. Lake Erie’s ice date did not change over time. A correlation test of the Lake Erie ice cover and winter snowfall did show a negative correlation.

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