On March 25th, Drs. Richard Palmer and Ray Bradley of UMass Amherst visited the Massachusetts State House for a Forum on Climate Change & Resiliency. They were invited as part of a team of UMass system climate researchers
to speak to the State Legislature on the impacts of climate change in Massachusetts and existing efforts to build resiliency of our ecosystems and infrastructure in adapting to climate change.
In a presentation focused on projected climate impacts on Massachusetts, Bradley summarized the measurable changes in climate as well as the predicted impacts from increased precipitation and decreased snowfall. "The changes in climate that are headed our way require that we seriously consider investments to make the Commonwealth more resilient to climate stresses, and to do whatever we can to protect our natural environment. Changes are coming, and we need to get ahead of the curve. Those here from the University of Massachusetts, and our colleagues and collaborators at other institutions of higher education in the state, are ready to work with you to devise legislation that will make the best use of our resources to accomplish these goals," said Bradley.
Palmer's remarks focused on the work of the Northeast Climate Science Center to develop information and tools to aid in resilient solutions. He reminded legislators, "Think about our great natural assets in the form of our forests, mountains, valleys and rivers and all they serve. Cold-water species like brook trout will find fewer favorable habitats inland, we will likely see shifts in bird flight patterns and our coastal resources will be impacted. We can anticipate a change in forest species over time, such as the disappearance of spruce-fir ecosystems and potential reduction in iconic species such as the sugar maple, and increasing threat of invasive species. That’s why we are working forest manager to provide them with the information they need to effectively steward New England forests and streams under changing climatic conditions."
Photo: Dr. Palmer, NE CSC University Director, speaks to the MA Legislature on Climate Change and Resiliency (credit: Ray Bradley)