ITACHA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)Global warming will turn the Northeast into the new South if people continue to ignore the crisis, an expert warns.

Mike Hoffmann, head of Cornell University’s Agricultural Experiment Station, told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau that while most people say they are aware of global warming, not many are changing habits to stem the tide.

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Temperatures in the Northeast will feel more like they do in the Deep South before the end of the century, Hoffmann said.

“As the conditions warm — and we’ve already seen this — we’re going to have new pests that can survive because of warmer winters,” he said.

Some of those pests may carry diseases harmful to humans.

Hoffmann said there are things each of us can do.

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“There’s the modest thing of just setting your thermostat in your house, changing your lightbulbs, those kind of things,” Hoffmann said. “Don’t travel as much as maybe you absolutely … need to, and that includes airline flights. So thinking about how to reduce your energy consumption.”

Hoffmann suggests involving family, friends and neighbors in the discussion.

“If we can have sort of a collective raising of voices about this issue, then we might see a larger change,” he said.

“It’s a very big challenge, and it can be overwhelming. But given the options, to just ignore or deny doesn’t help.”

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