Vermont Climate Assessment

By Alex Rose

Published 06/10 2014 07:46PM

Updated 06/11 2014 10:34AM

Burlington, Vt.- Students, environmentalists and members of the community gathered at University of Vermont’s Davis Center to discuss climate change in the Green Mountain State, and how it will impact those who live here.

"I feel proud that I'm a Vermonter and that I'm in Vermont with a lot of smart people who are concerned about it, and that's really great,” said CEO of ECO Strategies Debra Sachs. “We need to be moving faster, and today's panel told us that.”

According to a report put together by UVM researchers, each season is getting warmer.  

There are some positive takeaways to this. Vermont's changing climate could mean even more winter tourism than we already see. 

A projected increase in precipitation means more snow for outdoor sports.

Another plus researchers found, is a longer growing season.

"We can grow new varieties of crops like watermelon,” said University of Vermont Assistant Professor Gillian Galford. “We're seeing grapes and other varietals being grown here in Vermont that we haven't before, so new opportunities to diversify what we're doing.”

Carbon emissions were another hot topic at the panel.

Vermont is packed with trees, and a warmer climate could make them vulnerable to pests and pathogens.

"If we don't prepare, the consequences will be dire,” Galford said. “If we're not prepared to fight the diseases that can infect our crops, they will get destroyed."

Researchers project the overall temperature to increase about three degrees Fahrenheit over the next 35 years, a small number now, with potentially big implications down the road. 

To share your story on how climate change has impacted your business or home, visit the Vermont Climate Assessment website

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