With regular features and information about climate in Maine and beyond, Maine Climate News is a joint effort of three of the University of Maine’s well-known units: the Climate Change Institute, Maine Sea Grant, and Cooperative Extension. All of these entities have an emphasis on climate change and its implications for Maine.
The site is intended to provide useful information and perspectives about Maine’s climate. Because climate represents long-term patterns (as opposed to the short-term weather records that are provided daily by the National Weather Service), we will review what is known about the past (paleoclimate), the present (weather data compiled from roughly the past century, the time of modern instrumental measurements), and the future (estimated from computer simulations of various kinds).
Climate Update: Spring 2018
By Sean D. Birkel, Ph.D., Maine State Climatologist
The statewide spring (March–May) 2018 season average was slightly warmer and drier than normal in comparison to 1901–2000 climatology. Spring snowpack at the beginning of April was less than in 2017, but considerably more than in 2016. On the larger scale, sea-surface temperatures across the subpolar and tropical latitudes of the North Atlantic cooled in response to persistent strong winds associated with the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation.
Climate Update: Winter and Spring 2017
By Sean D. Birkel, Maine State Climatologist
Following the record warmth in winter 2016, winter 2017 (December – February) was warm and wet. Spring 2017 was generally cool and wet. Increased snowfall and a longer snow season compared to last year contributed to easing of the 2016 drought. Climate in Maine and across the Northern Hemisphere is heavily impacted by the declining extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice.
Research Highlights: Uncovering the Past Through Maine’s Historic Phenology Data
Phenological observations of annual first flowers, first leaves, and first migratory bird arrivals are a very valuable component of climate change research and historical phenology records provide baselines for learning about the effects of climate change on biota and biological processes. Dr. Caitlin McDonough’s research delves into long-term historical phenology records, such as the Quackenbush journals of northern Maine, to identify the fingerprint of anthropogenic climate change in ecological communities.
Maine Climate and Agriculture
The purpose of the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network, initiated by faculty at the University of Maine, is to increase communication and coordination among those working on issues related to climate and agriculture. The Maine Climate and Ag Network website provides an initial portal to some of the climate-related activities at the University of Maine, and serves as an invitation to those with an interest in this topic to participate.
Maine Climate News Blog
Webinars available online
Winter Climate Patterns and Outlook, Northeast Region
Hurricane Irma Forecast from the University of Maine
New Research Shows Summer Lengthening in the Gulf of Maine
Wet Winter, Spring Alleviate Drought Conditions in State
Ceramic Sculptor Highlights Impacts of Climate Change in Gulf of Maine
June 2017 Gulf of Maine Region Climate Impacts and Outlook Quarterly Reports on Wet Spring
Early 2017 Continues to Set Heat Records