Citizens Detail Impacts and Call for Action at Augusta News Conference
NRCM news release
Today spokespeople met at the State House to share public safety, business, municipal, forestry, wildlife and conservation perspectives on “Odd-ball Winter Weather: Global Warming’s Wake-Up Call for the Northern United States.”
The Northeast and Maine will experience more thin ice and shorter ski seasons in the years ahead as global warming continues to have its peculiar effect on winter weather according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation released nationally today.
“Climate change is predicted to have major impacts on forest ecosystems,” said Alec Giffin, Director of the Maine Forest Service. “for example, a ‘consensus’ model of future climatic conditions has led researchers to the conclusion that Maine’s forests will, by 2100, be in a climatic zone most suitable for oak pine forests in most of the state, and southern Maine will be suitable for loblolly pine (a species now typical of forests in Georgia). Warmer and more variable winter weather will also limit logging on sties best suited to harvesting on frozen ground – a significant portion of Maine’s timber harvest occurs under such conditions to avoid site damage.”
“This year, opening day headlines of the great ice fishing season ahead were overshadowed by thin ice warnings by the Maine Warden Service, and a number of tragic events associated with unsafe conditions on our lakes and ponds,” said Timothy Peabody of Unity College and former chief of the Maine Warden Service. “In addition, State fish and wildlife agencies across the country rely on revenues from the sale of fishing licenses, and snowmobile registrations. Any change in weather patterns that disrupts public interest in these popular winter sports can dramatically affect important conservation programs.”
“With less snow cover, we could see populations of moose, lynx, and pine marten all decline, as these species are all adapted to cold temperatures and heavy snowfall,” said Sally Stockwell, Director of Conservation from Maine Audubon. “UMaine scientists also predict populations of our state bird, the black-capped chickadee, will become less common or even disappear from most of the state except western and northern Maine.”
“The most important thing we can do to reduce the impact of climate change and its odd ball weather is to reduce our global warming pollution as much and as soon as possible,” said Lisa Pohlmann, Deputy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “What we need now is the political will in Washington to pass comprehensive climate change legislation that will mandate these reductions in global warming emissions and create investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, and strategies to adapt.”
Just last week, NASA has made it official: 2000s were hottest decade on record and 2009 was the second warmest year.
NWF’s full report can be found at: www.nwf.org/extremeweather