NORWAY — To kick off to a week of Earth-Day-related events, Maine State Climatologist Sean Birkel, Ph.D., will visit the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy Thursday, April 16, in Norway to discuss the science behind climate change and how it will affect Maine.

We are seeing earlier ice-out dates on our lakes, new pests and diseases in our fields and forests, and warmer water temperatures are dramatically affecting the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

While the effects of climate change are becoming more dramatic, many of us still do not fully understand the science behind what is driving it and how scientists model future changes in the climate system.

Birkel is a Research Assistant Professor at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, Orono. He received his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences and Ice Sheet Modeling in 2010 and currently focuses on climate modeling for the Institute.

Birkel is the co-author of many peer-reviewed papers on climate issues. His research interests include both Maine historical climatology, as well as modern environmental change.

He is developing a tool called the Climate Reanalyzer at, a website that provides access to climate and weather models, and historical weather station data.

Following Birkel’s talk, CEBE will host a discussion on how climate change will affect our local communities and what can be done to both prepare for those changes and to help mitigate their long-term effects.

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