Skip to content


NYSERDA has commissioned Columbia University and Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc) to conduct technical modeling that will feed into the assessment. Their efforts will ensure that the assessment reflects the current state of the science, using the best available modeling tools to focus on impacts within New York’s individual counties and regions.

Physical Climate Modeling

A team from Columbia is developing updated climate science projections for New York State, using global climate models that simulate how physical variables like temperature, rainfall, heat waves, heavy storms, and sea level are likely to change between now and 2100. Columbia developed similar projections for the original ClimAID report in 2011 and 2014. Now they are updating these projections to use the newest climate models—a group of models called the CMIP6 suite. The CMIP6 models were recently used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Sixth Assessment Report, and they are widely accepted by climate scientists as the most up-to-date tools available to simulate the complex connections between greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the Earth’s average temperature, and the resulting changes in weather and climate patterns, the oceans, and more. Columbia is applying these models to New York State, generating specific projections for each region of the state and comparing them with historical data.

This effort has benefited from the guidance of a Project Advisory Committee:

  • Art Degaetano, Cornell University
  • Keith Dixon, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, University of Vermont
  • Ambarish Karmalkar, University of Massachusetts
  • Anji Seth, University of Connecticut
  • Cameron Wake, University of New Hampshire

Economic Modeling

IEc is helping us take the next step by estimating the economic costs and benefits that are likely to result from New York’s changing climate. Using Columbia’s projections as a starting point, the IEc team is using the best available models to translate physical climate changes into specific impacts on New York’s communities, businesses, or ecosystems, then place a dollar value on those impacts. For example, the team will look at the projected increase in heat waves (which are becoming more frequent and severe), then model how this will lead to more cases of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other illnesses made worse by heat. For these and other health impacts, IEc will estimate the cost in terms of additional hospital visits, medical care, lost days at work, and—in the worst case—deaths. IEc will estimate costs and benefits for individual sectors and for the state economy overall. Where possible, IEc will also determine the economic benefit of taking certain actions to adapt to climate change.

This effort has benefited from the guidance of a Project Advisory Committee:

  • Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Saptarshi Das, NYSERDA
  • Anthony Dvarskas, NYS Office of the Attorney General
  • Chris Hall, NYSERDA
  • Jeremy Martinich, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Carl Mas, NYSERDA
  • Jason Pandich, NYSDEC