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The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.

1/26/10

REPORT TRACKS CASCO BAY CLIMATE CHANGE

Maine Public Broadcasting - Maine's Casco Bay watershed region has grown warmer and wetter over the past century, according to a new report released today by the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership.

The report, titled "Climate Change in the Casco Bay Watershed: Past, Present, and Future," concludes that the region's average annual temperature has increased by two degrees Fahrenheit in the past 100 years. That's resulted in earlier ice-outs on Sebago Lake, and 20 percent more rainfall each year in Portland.

The report also claims a host of other effects, including an increase in extreme weather events, a decrease in snow cover days, earlier spring run-off, longer growing seasons and rising sea levels.

The trends are expected to continue, the reports authors say. Temperatures are projected to increase by as much as three to eight degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, with summer temperatures rising as much as 10 degrees. Under that scenario, floods and droughts would be more likely, according to the report.





 
CLICK ON CHARTS FOR LARGE VERSIONS

From the Report - Overall, the region has been getting warmer and wetter over the last century, and these trends have increased over the last four decades. Detailed analysis of data collected at four meteorological stations in the region (Farmington, Lewiston, Portland, and Rumford) show that since 1965 the region has warmed 1.5 to 3.0 degrees F, with the greatest warming occurring in winter (1.6 - 4.9 degrees F). Overall annual precipitation and extreme precipitation events (both 1" in 24 hours and 2" in 48 hours) have increased in Portland.

The number of snow covered days is decreasing (especially on the coast), and winter snowfall is decreasing. Data collected from ships, buoys, and other observational platforms shows that sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are warming. Tidal gauge data indicates relative sea level at Portland is continuing to rise.

Finally, analysis of phenological data indicates that ice-out dates on Sebago Lake are occurring earlier.

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