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Forest Climate Change Initiative

Science and Practice: Addressing Forest Climate Change in Maine Webinar Series

Logo for FCCI and FSG webinar series

FCCI and FSG are pleased to host a webinar series focused on climate change and forest health, recreational use, forest management, biodiversity and pests, as well as the role of carbon and greenhouse gases. Join us on the first Wednesday of each month thru May 2021 as a panel of researchers, scientists, and stakeholders tackle issues of climate change and how it is influencing Maine’s forests and forest economy. Please visit the series webpage for more information on dates and topics along with registration details.


The State of Maine’s Carbon Budget

FCCI Researchers Have Released a 2-Page Fact Sheet on the Current State of Maine’s Carbon Budget. For the fact sheet and background, click here.

Graph depicting current stat of the carbon cycle in Maine for 2007-2016

FAQs

Why are Maine’s forests important to the state’s carbon budget? How do forest growth and harvesting impact climate? Answers (and relevant links to additional resources) to these and related questions can be found on our FAQ page.


Maine’s Forest and Climate Change

Maine has a strong gradient in climate ranging from maritime to alpine, which helps to contribute to a diverse forest (Figure 1). There are a number of issues that link both climate and forests including tree growth and mortality, forest health, operability, ecosystem services (carbon storage, water quality, wildlife habitat), and recreation opportunities.

Map of Maine climate zones and associated forest types
Figure 1. Climatic zones in Maine from Briggs & Lemin (Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 1992, 22(6): 801-811) with US Forest Service Forest Inventory & Analysis forest type cover. Map created by Dr. Aaron Weiskittel.

With a changing climate, Maine has and will continue to experience a warmer and wetter climate (Figure 2) with a higher potential for extreme events and greater weather variability in concert with a changing chemical climate (e.g. increased CO2, decreased sulfur deposition). This has significant implications for the role of forests in climate mitigation, greenhouse gas emissions, a changing renewable energy landscape, and adaptation that includes minimization of risk as well as new opportunities. In particular, implications of a changing climate include alterations in forest species composition and productivity, forest recreation opportunities, risk of pests and diseases, winter operability, and forest hydrological regimes.Maps of projected relative changes in mean annual precipitation and temperature
Figure 2. Downscaled projections of future temperate and precipitation based on an ensemble of 17 CMIP5 model predictions available at bit.ly/climate_estimates. Map created Dr. Aaron Weiskittel.
The University of Maine has significant expertise on climate and forest resources, which exists across academics units, centers, and institutes. This web portal is intended to serve as a point of access to these resources and encourage networking among university expertise as well as external stakeholders.

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FCCI Outreach

A key component of FCCI is to provide connections among researchers, scientists, stakeholders, legislators, and the interested public. To that effect, we have support a variety of outreach efforts.

The Forest Climate Change & Adaptation Forum was held at the University of Maine in February 2020. Links for each of the presentations as well as audio files can be accessed here.

In April 2019, the FCCI hosted a session the the Maine Water and Sustainability Conference to highlight the goals of this initiative and to begin a larger discussion on research priorities. The session featured an overview of current FCCI activities, presentations on the current state of knowledge across multiple disciplines, and a panel discussion of stakeholders on their experiences and information needs regarding emerging weather patterns and climate change. Click on the link FCCI 2019 Presentations and Speaker Bios for pdfs.