What's Going on with Gas Stoves in New York?

Gas stove
Gas stove, photographer QuadellCC BY-SA 3.0

By Lara Heberle

Climate change is very real. Our local DEC website states, in New York State the average temperature has increased by 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970. It is projected to increase by an additional 3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2080, Yet, in a recent article in syracuse.com, Upstate cities were deemed a place of safety to reside as the entire country becomes hotter.

Central New Yorkers experienced the effect of drifting smoke from Canadian forest fires. This type of pollution affects trees and plants, pets, wildlife and of course, people. This summer, we have all witnessed or been forced to cancel concerts, sporting events, picnics, and barbeques and similar activities. Is this going to be an annual occurrence going forward? It seems possible. Increases in temperature and changes in precipitation are expected to increase forest fires in New York State by 10-20 percent. The Canadian National Resources Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, predicts that by 2050, land burned by wildfires will double. Health effects from wildfires due to fine particulates (also called PM2.5) include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; coughing, sneezing; and shortness of breath, and long-term effects such as worsening of conditions such as asthma. Elevated levels of ambient PM2.5 have also been found to contribute to diabetes and negative birth outcomes for pregnant women, as covered in an October 2020 NPR article by Nathan Rott.


As far as the environment, extreme heat will cause evaporation in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and our many streams. This will cause declining fresh water fish populations of trout and bass. Poor oxygen quality will cause trout embryos to be under developed. (DEC.com). Increases in heavy rain events will also affect runoff from fertilized lawns and septic systems, which will contribute to flooding and drainage into nearby lakes and streams. This runoff may contain phosphorous, a nutrient often present in farms and gardens, and which promotes abundant algae growth. In addition, warmer temperatures, abundant light and stable wind conditions increase toxic algae. Algae blooms are harmful to humans, animals, fish, and shellfish populations, as well as sensitive ecosystems.