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Special Feature: Gulf of Maine 2050: Visioning Regional Resilience and Sustainability

Collection launched: 14 March 2021

Andrew Pershing, Director of Climate Science at Climate Central
Robert Stephenson, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station, St. Andrews, NB, Canada

In November 2019, several hundred community, governmental, and business leaders from across New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces joined together with leading scientists to discuss the environmental and societal changes anticipated for the Gulf of Maine as we approach 2050. The Gulf of Maine 2050 International Symposium’s focus on the year 2050 was not selected at random — it is around this time that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) carbon emission scenarios begin to diverge from the most severe climate impacts to lesser, more manageable ones. This means that the choices we make today and over the next several decades have real power in shaping the state of the world we inhabit 30 years from now and beyond.

The Symposium examined four questions:
  1. What will the GoM look like in 2050? (i.e. what changes do we expect)
  2. What are the challenges arising from those changes? (ecological, economic, social and governance…and across industries, government, and others)
  3. What are we prepared for and what not? (Gap analysis regarding climate change response preparedness)
  4. What are the most important management action items and research priorities going forward?

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