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Climate Change and Public Health Maine’s Climate Future (and past). George L. Jacobson Professor Emeritus of Biology, Ecology, and Climate Change Maine State Climatologist Climate Change Institute The University of Maine April 7, 2010.
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Climate Change and Public HealthMaine’s Climate Future(and past) George L. Jacobson Professor Emeritus of Biology, Ecology, and Climate Change Maine State Climatologist Climate Change Institute The University of Maine April 7, 2010
Climate Change Institute(formerly Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies) • Climatology/Paleoclimatology • Historic climatology • Terrestrial paleoecology • Paleolimnology • Prehistoric archaeology • Glacial geology and glaciology • Atmospheric chemistry (incl. ice cores) • Geochemistry • Maine State Climatologist (GLJ) “Maine Climate News” Web Site
Climate Change InstituteThe University of Maine Central question: What is the natural variability of the earth’s climate, and what are the underlying mechanisms?
El Nino tendency over time (Nov. to Mar.)
All-time state record low temperature (– 50 F)16 Jan 2009 OFFICIAL RECORD
20,000 years ago was the most recent glacial maximum Maine under ice
Regular ice ages characterize the past million years(information derived from ocean sediments) Present interglacial (Holocene) warm cold
Projections show Maine becoming warmer and wetter in all regions of the state.
Maine’s climate is highly compressed: equal to that of northern Europe
Maine’s steep climate gradient produces interesting patterns of range limits in plants.
Future change are just the opposite of what happened in the past 1000 years --- southward expansion of spruce during a cool period.
Implications for Maine of global instabilities caused by climate change (broadly defined): • Potential demand for resources (water, food, space, etc.) • Economic disruptions of many kinds • National security instabilities • Cumulative demand for health-related services & resources • Many others…
Records of atmospheric N2O and of Dansgaard–Oeschger events over a 16,000-year interval during the last ice age.Schmittner & Galbraith (2008) Nature 456:373-376.