Title: Understanding the science of climate change: Talking points - Impacts to the Atlantic Coast
Author: Loehman, Rachel; Anderson, Greer;
Source: Natural Resource Report NPS/NRPC/NRR - 2009/095. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Natural Resource Program Center. 32 p.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
Description: Observed 20th century climate changes in the Atlantic Coast bioregion include warmer air and sea surface temperatures, increased winter precipitation (especially rainfall), and an increased frequency of extreme precipitation events. Climate change impacts during the century include phenological shifts in plant and animals species, such as earlier occurrence of lilac budburst and earlier arrival of migrant birds; spread of invasive species such as the Chinese tallow tree; sea level rise; and earlier onset of lake and river ice-out and snowmelt-driven runoff. Climate changes predicted for the region are continued increases in air and sea surface temperatures, a dramatic increase in the summer heat index, increased seasonal precipitation, and more frequent severe thunderstorms. These climate changes are predicted to alter patterns of vegetation distribution (shifting ranges of cool-adapted tree species such as sugar maple and birch), modify coastline ecosystems (inundation of wetlands from sea level rise), reduce available habitat for marine and terrestrial animals, and increase the extent and frequency of coastal flooding and erosion from sea level rise and storm surges.
Keywords: climate change, impact, sustainability strategies, management plans, Atlantic Coast bioregion
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Loehman, Rachel; Anderson, Greer. 2009. Understanding the science of climate change: Talking points - Impacts to the Atlantic Coast. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRPC/NRR - 2009/095. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Natural Resource Program Center. 32 p.
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