Flashback 1985: Gov’t Scientists Predicted NYC Would Resemble Daytona Beach

by Michael Bastasch
There’s a winter storm afoot, and places like New York City are expected to get hit with several inches of snow Thursday.

It’s hard to imagine that just 30 years ago, government scientists were predicting that global warming would make New York City resemble Daytona Beach, Florida — which does not get snow.

In 1985, the New York Times reported that ‘[f]ederal climate experts have suggested that within a century the greenhouse effect could turn New York City into something with the climate of Daytona Beach, Fla.”

“Beginning in a decade or two, scientists expect the warming of the atmosphere to melt the polar icecaps, raising the level of the seas, flooding coastal areas, eroding the shores and sending salt water far into fresh-water estuaries,” the Times reported. “Storm patterns will change, drying out some areas, swamping others and generally throwing agriculture into turmoil.”

Three decades later, and New York City does not remotely resemble Daytona Beach — even if some resident wished it did on winter days like this. On Thursday, New York City’s temperature stood at 28 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Weather Channel, while Daytona Beach was a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This winter, in fact, New York City experienced its coldest recorded temperature ever for Feb. 2nd just this year when thermometers in Central Park dipped below 7 degrees Fahrenheit – shattering a previous 65-year record for the coldest Feb. 2nd set in 1950.

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