Fernandez discusses state’s climate future on Maine Public

Ivan Fernandez, Distinguished Maine Professor in the Climate Change Institute and School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, discussed the future of Maine’s climate on Maine Public. Fernandez, one of the authors of the report “Maine’s Climate Future,” predicts climate change will mean hot summers, warm winters, more rain and less snow, along with a warming Gulf of Maine. “What we’ve seen in the last five years is, obviously, a continuation — most of the time, evidence of an acceleration of many of the trends for climate change,” said Fernandez. He noted that an increase in climate-related disasters like hurricanes and fires has increased public awareness. Fernandez predicts dramatic changes in how people live in coastal communities in Maine as a result of changes in climate. “Coastal communities have particular challenges — they are dealing with the same sorts of human health infrastructure, handling stormwater drain runoff in their roads, and sewer overflows on systems that can’t handle the intense rain events that we seem to have more of these days, as well as dealing on the coast with rising seas,” said Fernandez. He identified “the inefficiency of not using science to inform decision making” and financial resources as two challenges to addressing climate change in Maine. The Maine Public report is part of the weeklong “Covering Climate Now” project by more than 250 news outlets around the world.