New scientific report provides original climate change assessments for the Lake Champlain Basin and offers practical strategies to mitigate impacts
KEENE VALLEY, NY — May 18, 2010 — The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack and Vermont Chapters today released “Climate Change in the Champlain Basin: What natural resource managers can expect and do,” one of the first efforts in North America to assess climate change on a watershed scale and offer adaptation strategies.
Climate change is no longer just a philosophical or future threat. It’s a reality in the Champlain Basin, as the 42-page, peer-reviewed report outlines with a complete set of weather records from the United States Historical Climatology Network. Some changes that have already taken place in the Champlain Basin are:
- Mean temperatures in the Champlain Basin rose by 2°F between 1976 and 2005, slightly faster than the global average.
- The average level of Lake Champlain is 1 foot higher than it was prior to the 1970s, illustrating the effects of recently increased precipitation.
- The duration of ice cover on local lakes has shortened during the 20th century, with freeze-up now occurring two weeks later, on average. The main body of Lake Champlain now often fails to freeze over at all in winter.