WMTW interviews Birkel about climate change action

WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) interviewed Sean Birkel, research assistant professor in the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, for a story about state and local efforts to combat climate change. Birkel provides technical assistance to the state’s climate action council, which “has recommended a push for Maine-made renewable materials, clean energy heating and cooling and modernizing the electric grid,” according to the report. Birkel tracks trends in the arctic, which has exhibited record-high temperatures, and analyzes how global events like the loss of sea ice might affect Maine. “So as the arctic warms, there’s a change in the strength of the winds, a change in circulation patterns,” he said. “So there are implications both on shorter timescales and longer timescales.” According to the report, when Birkel was asked whether quarantine measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have affected climate change, he said “it is like filling a bathtub. If you turn the faucet down, the water level in the tub still goes up. WABI (Channel 5) also shared WMTW’s report.