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An Earth Day Edit: A look at how climate change locally and globally is impacting Western New York

A climatologist and local business owner weigh in on how climate change is impacting Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Climate change can be a tricky topic to talk about, but one thing's for sure, it's happening across the globe, and its impacts are seen and felt here in Western New York. 

So on this Earth Day, we’re taking a moment to shine a light on the climate, how it’s changing and a local business that is making strides to reduce its carbon footprint. Earlier this week Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Elyse Smith spoke to Emily Pauline, a Climate Risk Analyst, and local business owner Mike Tobin of Fresh Catch Poke & Seafood

Emily is hopeful that we, as a society, are starting to have a better grasp on the concept of climate change and is working on communicating the implications climate change can directly have on communities across the country and here in Western New York. 

“I think Americans have this abstract grasp of what the concept is or they may have experienced something like rising temperatures in the area of the country that they live in. Either their environment is changing or they may have lived through an extreme weather event that is more extreme or may not have occurred 30 or 40 years ago," Pauline said. 

And Buffalo can relate! We experienced it’s hottest July on record last year, and three of the top 5 hottest Julys have occurred within the past 10 years. 

Credit: WGRZ

And locally, Fresh Catch Founder Mike Tobin sees the impact climate change is having on his business. First, Mike mentioned that he's noticing how globally, climate change is changing the fishing season. 

“Since we started in 2018 to now, the seasons have shifted slightly, even though the dates remain the same the catch they’re able to pull out of the ocean and sell to us has definitely changed," Tobin said. 

More importantly, he recognizes the fact that climate change is happening and is actively working towards making his business as eco-friendly as possible. Fresh Catch Poke's containers are biodegradable, they source from sustainable fisheries and even work with local farmers to donate their kitchen waste to be used as food or compost. 

He said, "As a business owner of a small business in a seafood concept, I feel like it’d be hypocritical if we’re pulling from the ocean, our product lives on the fact of a sustainable resource and if that resource is being harmed by us its hypocritical."