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The Earth’s atmosphere is experiencing unprecedented changes that are modifying the global climate, with consequences for all regions and societies. Discussions have begun on how to reduce and eventually eliminate the rapid and accelerating additions of carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases, and other pollutants to the world’s atmosphere and oceans. These efforts are vitally important and urgent for Maine and the rest of the world.
This report considers past change over geologic time, recent evidence of accelerated rates of change, and the implications of continued climate change in Maine during the 21st century as a result of greenhouse gas emissions and their associated pollutants. Even if a coordinated response succeeds in eliminating excess greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century, something that appears highly unlikely today, climate change will continue because the elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years to come.
To learn more, download and read Maine's Climate Future:
PDF file - 18.1MB
Building on Maine’s Climate Future, in 2009 the Maine Legislature charged the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to bring together a broad group of stakeholders across business, agriculture, forestry, marine, health, conservation, and transportation interests to initiate a climate change stakeholder adaptation process. More than 70 groups representing government, private industry, non-governmental organizations, municipalities, and the University of Maine participated in the discussions and working committees. In February 2010, Maine DEP presented the Legislature with a report on the the initial year of work in this stakeholder adaptation process that included a description of findings and recommendations. The full report and a summary document of People and Nature Adapting to a Changing Climate: Charting Maine’s Course can be downloaded from the Maine DEP climate change adaptation web site.