General University of Maine Publications

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Ivan Fernandez, University of Maine

Robert Marvinney, Maine Geological Survey

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Climate change has already made its presence known in Maine, from shorter winters and warmer summers with ocean heat waves, to stronger storms, new species showing up in our backyards and the Gulf of Maine, aquatic algal blooms, acidic ocean waters that affect shellfish, and new pests and diseases that harm our iconic forests and fisheries.

The health of Maine people is also being affected by climate change, from high heat index days driving increased emergency room visits to the ravages of Lyme and other vector-borne diseases. And our economy is feeling the effects, too -with farmers trying to adapt to longer growing seasons but dealing with severe storms and late frosts, aquaculturists already adapting to a more acidic ocean, and winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling being impacted by our shrinking winter season.

This is the first report from the Maine Climate Council’s Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, produced by more than 50 scientists from around the State representing Scientific and Technical Subcommittee members, other co-authors, and contributors. This report is part of the 2020 Maine Climate Action Plan. The report summarizes how climate change has already impacted Maine and how it might continue affecting our State in the future.

The findings from this report inform the ongoing deliberations of the Maine Climate Council and have aided the Maine Climate Council’s six working groups in the development of draft strategies to address climate change by reducing Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee identified critical scientific information gaps and needs to better understand and forecast potential future climate change impacts in the State. Key take-aways from this report are listed below, with the full details appearing in each of the twelve chapters.


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