Is Buffalo A Climate Haven?

Pavel Danilyuk Pexels

Buffalo’s mayor claims it is a “climate haven” or “climate refuge city.” The BBC is skeptical but adds Duluth, Ann Arbor, Madison, and Burlington to a list that can or do make similar claims.

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The UK TV service writes: “Climate scientists and experts are sceptical about the notion of a climate haven, and while they see some potential benefits, they are quick to point out its flaws.”

Buffalo should be near the top of cities with evidence against its haven status. Buffalo ranks fourth among all cities for slow, taking from an average from 1991 to 2020. Buffalo’s annual snowfall, based on this analysis, is 95.4 inches. Nearby Rocheter ranks third at 102.0 inches. Nearby Erie ranks second at 104.3 inches. In first place is nearby Syracuse at 128.7.

Buffalo Deaths

Forty-seven people died in Buffalo from a brutal snowstorm in December 2022. The city might say this is an aberration. Twenty-three people were killed in and around Buffalo in a 1977 storm. 

Buffalo is a haven, except during some winters.

Several arguments have been made that the northern tier of the US, from upstate New York to downstate Minnesota, is not prone to drought, floods, heat, or tornadoes (usually). While those arguments have a great deal of evidence in their favor, it depends on where people live in these areas and when.

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