The Portland Press Herald interviewed Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, for a story about Maine and Vermont having the fastest rise in annual average temperature in the United States during the past 30 years.
The average annual temperature in both states increased 2.5 degrees from 1984 to 2013 — about twice the average warming nationwide — according to an AP analysis of the National Climatic Data Center report.
Birkel told the Portland Press Herald that part of Maine’s winter warming trend is attributable to melting Arctic sea ice. As the sea ice melts, Birkel says the darker ocean absorbs sunlight, which further heats the air. “As the Arctic warms, Maine and the North will warm because that is where the airflow is coming from” in winter, Birkel said.