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UMaine Research Cited in National Climate Assessment Report

Research being conducted through the University of Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) was highlighted in the the National Climate Assessment report recently released by President Barack Obama, which found global warming is directly affecting life in Maine and other New England states.

The research by the SSI team is focused on the effects of increasingly intense and frequent storms striking Maine and New England, causing millions of dollars in damage and threatening fragile ecosystems. Shaleen Jain, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Esperanza Stancioff, an extension associate professor, are leading the team that is helping Maine communities better understand and prepare for the potential local impacts of climate change.

The report explains how the research team “mapped decisions by town managers in Maine to sources of climate information, engineering design, mandated requirements, and calendars that identified the complex, multi-jurisdictional challenges of widespread adaptation for even such seemingly simple actions as using larger culverts to carry water from major storms.”

Research by the UMaine team is highlighted in the Northeast section of the report under “Key Message: Planning and Adaptation.”

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States. More than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, according to the report.

The UMaine research project is funded by the Sustainability Solutions Initiative, a program of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center, which is supported by National Science Foundation award EPS-0904155 to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine and a grant from NOAA’s National Sea Grant Coastal Communities Climate Adaptation Initiative (CCCAI).

More about the SSI project is online.

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