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Updated 12 October, 2003

US National Assessment of the Potential Consequences
of Climate Variability and Change
Region: New England



For additional information, see the Northeast Mega-Region

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Links to Material from the New England Assessment Group:

Related Articles from the National Assessment's Newsletter, Acclimations.

The Workshop

The New England regional workshop was held at the University of New Hampshire, September 3-5, 1997, as part of the series of US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) regional climate change workshops. This series of workshops is seen as a first step in a U.S. national assessment of the potential consequences of climate variability and change. The workshop involved a total of 122 participants representing all New England States and upstate New York. The workshop focused on seven sectors: natural resources, human health, insurance and business, energy and utilities, government and resource management, recreation and tourism, and information transfer. The first day of the meeting focused on soliciting stakeholder perspectives and concerns while the second day focused on identifying the likely consequences of climate change. The second day discussions included how the consequences of climate changes might interact with current stresses as well as identifying knowledge gaps and response strategies.

Issues for Analysis

Participants of the New England Regional Climate Change Impacts Workshop identified 12 significant findings regarding climate change issues and concerns of importance to the region. The first was: education on regional issues related to climate change is not readily available and is essential for informed sectoral discussion. To incorporate a number of the significant findings, a limited number of specific focuses for the Assessment were identified by stakeholders and included the Sectors of: Forestry, Human Health, and Water; and the Impact Areas of: Atmospheric Chemistry, Extreme Events, and Seasonal Dynamics.

Strategy for the Assessment

The New England approach has been to facilitate the development of a dynamic partnership among regional research, service, industry, and end-user communities. This partnership applied research methods and technologies, as well as effective outreach programs to addressing important regional climate change and variability issues and concerns identified by end-user communities. The following specific activities were undertaken:

  1. Presentations of both historical climate and predictive climate scenarios were made to regional stakeholders;
  2. Developed 3 illustrative case studies, that were explored by regionally important sectors/ stakeholders and that would be impacted by future climate variability or change;
  3. Conducted regional, socioeconomic modeling exercises, on the case studies, to provide anticipated economic impacts of climate change on particular regional sectors;
  4. Engaged sector-specific stakeholders/experts for input and feedback in a series of one-day workshops;
  5. Developed information-rich programs that provide relevant and reliable understanding regarding the National Assessment, the NE Regional Assessment, and current climate change issues; and
  6. Established a web-based communication network to ensure efficient and timely exchange of ideas to produce the Regional Assessment and to distribute its findings. The Assessment document is available on the web, see above link.
Principal Investigator Berrien Moore, University of New Hampshire
Co-Principal Investigators Barry Rock, University of New Hampshire
Paul Mayewski, University of New Hampshire
Coordinating Federal Agency National Science Foundation
Agency Representative Tom Spence, National Science Foundation
Additional Involvement Environmental Protection Agency
Key Sectors/Issues
  • Forestry
  • Human Health
  • Water
Impact Areas
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Extreme Events
  • Seasonal Dynamics

Assessment Team 

  • Robert Brower, NY - Country Coordinator
  • Rob Braswell, NH - UNH Climate Modeler
  • Joel Gordes, CT - Insurance Industry
  • Robert Greene, MA - Boston Museum of Science
  • Steven Hamburg, RI - Brown University
  • Barry Keim, NH - State Climatologist
  • Don LaTourette, NH - State Dept of Environmental Services
  • Greg Norris, ME - Socioeconomic Modeler
  • Richard Polonsky, NY - Environmental Defense Fund
  • Fay Rubin, NH - UNH Human Health
  • Fred Short, NH - Coastal Issues

Steering Committee 

  • David Bartlett, University of New Hampshire
  • Richard Birdsey, USDA / Forest Service
  • Ann Bucklin, University of New Hampshire
  • Steve Hale, University of New Hampshire
  • Kate Hartnett, NH Comparative Risk Project
  • Wanda Haxton, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Clara Kustra, University of New Hampshire
  • Paul Mayewski, University of New Hampshire
  • Berrien Moore, University of New Hampshire
  • Barry Rock, University of New Hampshire
  • Tom Spence, National Science Foundation
  • Shannon Spencer, University of New Hampshire


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