Climate change lecture and discussion on June 29


On June 29 from 7 to 9 pm at the Agricultural Society hall, the public will have an opportunity to learn about the developing climate and its impacts on agriculture and the built environment.
According to a press release, Eric Walberg, the senior climate services program leader at Manomet science center in Plymouth, will discuss the likely changes to weather patterns and extremes that have serious implications for our farming community, as well as the projected rising sea level, increased coastal storms, and the risks that they pose to the built coastal environment.
The declining sea ice cover in the Arctic, the press release stated, poses threats to polar bear and the local Inuit population. The warmer global temperatures are likely to impact farming worldwide with reduced water availability and increased drought frequency, new weeds and pests as well as the challenge of selecting crop varieties that can tolerate the changing seasonal weather that may bring a longer growing season but extreme summer heat with it. Perennial crops that need winter insulation from snow may suffer from decreased snow cover as well as ice damage.
Extreme precipitation events have increased by 67 percent in New England during the past 50 years. That trend is expected to continue, and with it, the frequency and severity of extreme summer heat will also increase. Higher sea level raises the threat to shoreline community’s roads and harbors from coastal storms due to storm surge and erosion of the shore.
The discussion will address the questions, What should we expect, and how can we prepare for the likely challenges?
In addition to the Conservation District, the program is sponsored by the Polly Hill Arboretum, the MV Agricultural Society and the Island Grown Initiative. It is free and open to the public.