Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maine is uniquely vulnerable to effects of climate change

As reported in the Boston Globe, September 21, by David Abel:  The interactions of so many effects of climate change are leading to increasingly dire consequences, from massive die-off of amphibians to a population explosion among deer ticks, rapid growth in the numbers of invasive species that disrupt ecosystems, and plant communities that are becoming "out of sync" with their pollinators.  Maine is particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change:
"Heat waves, more powerful storms, and rising seas are increasingly transforming Maine — effects that most climate scientists trace to greenhouse gases warming the planet. Wedged between powerful streams of cold and warm air, the state is buffeted by climate fluctuations in the arctic and the Gulf of Maine, both of which are warming rapidly."  --David Abel
I tend to think of Florida or the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas as the most vulnerable to huge storms, without considering climate impacts on our most northeastern state.  Maine seems so solid and impervious, with its thousands of square miles of forested land and higher elevation topography.  Abel's story is a compelling read, examining complex ecosystems which are finely balanced to thrive in a cooler world than where we are now (and certainly cooler than where we are headed).

The Encyclopedia of global warming & climate change / general editor, S. George Philander, gives a summary of the effects of a warming world on regions, states and nations worldwide.

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