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VLS to Host Symposium on Adapting to Climate Change

March 18, 2010

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law will host a symposium on Friday, March 26, to explore strategies for adapting to and lessening the impacts of climate change. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Chase Community Center.

The annual symposium, titled "Surviving and Thriving: Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation," will feature three panel discussions on climate change's impacts on agriculture, energy and water. There also will be a discussion of how Vermont is trying to adapt to a warming climate. The keynote address at 2 p.m. will be from Victor Flatt, director of the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

The earth's climate has changed periodically throughout history as result of natural factors, but a build-up of greenhouse gas emissions from smokestacks, tailpipes and other human activities has caused the earth's average surface temperature to increase by about 1.2 to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 100 years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If greenhouse gases continue to increase, the average temperature of the earth's surface could increase from 3.2 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit above 1990 levels by the end of this century.

Regional models indicate these possible impacts in Vermont, according to the Vermont Governor's Commission on Climate Change:

• Warmer temperatures could promote formation of smog.
• Climate change could bring warmer, wetter days that are ideal conditions for some insects and diseases, which could find it easier to migrate to and survive in Vermont.
• Vermont's forests could be significantly altered, with pine and oak replacing trees that bring vibrant colors in autumn.
• Warmer temperatures could reduce the sap-tapping season and the quality of maple syrup, with consequent damage to Vermont's economy.

More information is available at: http://www.vjel.org/events/EVT10017.html

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
 802-831-1106 , jcramer@vermontlaw.edu

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