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Climate change is making ice boating rare on the Hudson River

Apr 10, 2023 12:31 pm

Noah Eckstein reports in the Times Union that ice boating on the Hudson River might be a thing of the past because of climate change. The Encyclopedia Britannica says the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club formed in 1865. Red Hook resident Richard Aldrich is a member of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, founded in 1885 by John A. Roosevelt. “I’m still attached to the way things were,” he said. The Hudson River Ice Yacht Club did not do any ice boating this past winter because of warm temperatures and thin ice. Dan Shapley, co-director of the Science and Patrol Program at the activist group Riverkeeper said, “The trend is already there. We have many fewer winters with ice and we will have many fewer days below freezing in the future. The New York Climate Change Science Clearinghouse predicts about 114 days a year between 2023 and 2027 with the minimum temperature at least 32 degrees. But that will be closer to 40 days a year below freezing by 2099. “It used to be we’d get skunked one year out of every 10, or one year out of 20,” said John Sperr, an ice boater since 1982 and treasurer of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. “What’s happening now is we get one good year out of every eight or 10 years. There’s just no more dependable ice in the Hudson Valley and the problem is global warming.” So Sperr plans to move to Maine, where it will be colder. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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