Journal Tribune: Town of Wells seeks resident buy-in to combat climate change

June 5, 2014

According to a new scientific report sponsored by the New England Climate Adaption Project, the Town of Wells faces several risks over the next century due to climate change, the most notable being the risk of increased flooding from intense precipitation events, coastal storm surges and rising sea levels.

The scientific report was shared with approximately 40 Wells town officials and stakeholders at a May 27 public input workshop, held at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.

“We know what the science says and what the adaptation options are, but we needed to hear from the people of Wells about what steps the town should consider going forward,” said Town Manager Jonathan Carter, who presented at the workshop.

A scientific team of researchers at MIT, the University of New Hampshire and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System authored the report. They predict that Wells could see a significant increase in the occurrence of extreme heat events, with the worst case climate projections indicating that Wells could experience more than 10 times as many days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit per year by the end of the century. The report also included detailed maps predicting sea levels in Wells could climb by as much as five feet by 2085, greatly impacting Wells’ barrier islands and the homes that have been built there.

“It’s alarming to see that a significant portion of the Wells coastline will be under water by the end of the century, especially since beach tourism and marine habitats are fundamental to our local economy and way of life,” said Dr. Christine Feurt, a professor at the University of New England and a director at the Center for Sustainable Communities Department of Environmental Studies. Read more at the Journal Tribune...