Changes in New Hampshire’s climate are well documented in local records of sea level, growing seasons, range of flora and fauna, precipitation and temperature. Similar to national trends and projections of previous climate models, the state has experienced more extreme weather events including floods, drought and rising tides.
Some degree of future impact will be influenced by changes to the atmosphere and warming of land, atmosphere and oceans already in progress. Longer term impacts will reflect decisions made today that influence how climate may change further into the future. Such decisions include energy choices such as fossil based versus renewable sources, land use and environmental protection, and transportation systems.New Hampshire and its municipalities have many opportunities and time to prepare and adapt to a changing climate. This effort will require understanding of recent climate projections and assessments, applying technology and data to solve problems, and learning from other states and communities that have successfully implemented effective strategies and solutions.
This chapter will provides an overview of climate change, regional and statewide activities, describe existing conditions, and discuss key challenges in planning for the future.