New Climate Reports for New Hampshire Communities

April 26, 2014

Early this month, two University of New Hampshire reports analyzing the future climate of Northern and Southern NH were released. The results are concerning, to say the least. The main takeaway from these two assessments is that, as the climate continues to change, New Hampshire will become warmer and wetter. The yearly average temperature could rise as much as 4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit across the state, with summer temperatures rising the most – so get ready to crank up that AC! Meanwhile “extreme precipitation events” (think storms with a lot of rain) are likely to double by the middle of the century. Cameron Wake, a research associate professor at UNH, noted that this is particularly worrying since NH has already seen an increase in extreme precipitation events, many of which cause significant damage, and these reports demonstrate that this trend, instead of slowing down, is likely to continue. Furthermore, average yearly precipitation could increase up to 20 percent, which has huge implications for infrastructure damage. As the undergraduate research assistant working with Dover, NH, I think these reports are exactly what the community needs to help it take its next steps in adapting to climate change. Having worked with Dover over the past two semesters, I’ve seen the impact that the NECAP workshops have had upon residents. In follow-up interviews, many people spoke of a renewed enthusiasm or increased confidence in the ability of Dover as a community to address climate change in the future. The workshops helped many people to realize that, despite its apparent enormity, climate change can be dealt with and adapted to at a local level. However, those same people often pointed out that in order to address climate change, there is a need for scientific data on what exactly Dover can expect from the future climate. The “Climate Change in New Hampshire” reports are an excellent resource for communities like Dover who are seeking to further understand what impacts they may have to deal with in the future. Although NECAP has also produced wonderful risk assessments for each community, these new reports can provide even more recent information to communities and can help complement the information contained in our risk assessments. As many Dover interviewees pointed out, knowledge of the future risks and changes is a critical part of being able to develop plans to adapt to these changes. People are likely to be concerned about the news that extreme precipitation events are on the rise; many interviewees already mentioned that they had noticed more storms and more damage resulting from these storms in recent years. However, information like this can demonstrate the urgency of the situation and, building off the enthusiasm sparked by NECAP workshops, could lead to significant action to address these risks. For more information, the reports can be downloaded at

-Rebecca Silverman, Undergraduate Research Assistant