Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Natural systems, which contribute diverse and incalculable value to the surrounding community, are highly tied to a predictable range of climatic conditions. Invasive and pest species may thrive due to some of the anticipated changes to our local climate (hotter summers, warmer winters, increased precipitation). For instance: gypsy moths, hemlock woolly adelgids, emerald ash borers, corn rootworm, southern pine beetles, and marmorated stink bugs are all susceptible to very cold temperatures. With fewer deep freeze events, populations of these pest insects may flourish and do major damage to our local forests and farms. Ecosystems and whole sectors of the economy like agriculture and tourism revolve around predictability of the seasons. All of these systems become vulnerable and potentially unstable if climatic conditions change substantially. Please weigh in with your ideas for policies and programs that could support biodiversity and increase the resiliency of local ecosystems in a changing climate.