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Scientists from a wide variety of fields — including those who study the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and geology — overwhelmingly agree that our planet’s climate is changing. And the primary cause is people, who have put larger and larger amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
But despite its name, global climate change isn’t just a global issue. Climate change will affect the health and well-being of Marylanders across the state and will substantially stress the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
Marylanders can do a lot to help slow climate change and adapt to its effects. We can drive less, use less electricity, and help to restore wetlands, forests, and other natural communities.
Maryland Sea Grant supports research and outreach that helps state residents better understand and plan for the risks associated with climate change. Recently, for example, researchers used innovative techniques to study how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may affect the growth of invasive marsh plants.
Predicting how global temperatures will continue to change in the future comes with a lot of uncertainties. But by using historical observations and climate “models” that simulate the Earth’s processes, scientists are confident about much of what we should expect.
Scientists advising the Maryland Commission on Climate Change released a report in 2008 to advise Marylanders on how climate change could affect them. That report was titled Global Warming and the Free State. Here are some of the team’s conclusions.
This list was adapted from a summary published by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Read the full text of Global Warming and the Free State.
Learn more about climate change in Maryland at UMCES’s climate change research page.
Photograph, National Aeronautics and Space Administration