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.Reports