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Ice is thinner and less common on Lake Champlain since the 1970s. (Photo: Brian Mann)
Ice is thinner and less common on Lake Champlain since the 1970s. (Photo: Brian Mann)

Champlain study shows evidence of warming

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As 2010 draws to a close, we're revisiting important environmental stories of the year. Climate change tops the list, as scientists struggle to understand how global changes will impact local regions.

This morning, Brian Mann talks with Paul Smith's scientist and researcher Curt Stager. His work often takes him far afield, to sample lake bottoms in Africa and Russia for evidence of ecological changes over geological time.
This year he focussed closer to home, on the impact of climate change in the Champlain Valley. Stager co-authored the study with Adirondack-based journalist Mary Thill. The research was funded by the Adirondack Nature Conservancy in an effort to find out how global warming might affect one relatively small region.

The study shows that since the 1970s, temperatures have already risen in the Champlain Valley by roughly two degrees Fahrenheit. Increased precipitation has also raised the lake level by an average of a foot. Warming is expected to continue over the next century.

Stager told Brian Mann that scientists are struggling to understand the local impacts of climate change.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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