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Climate Change at Acadia

Climate change is accelerating alterations to weather patterns and seasonality that have direct impacts on Acadia’s infrastructure, cultural resources, the occurrence and distribution of plant and animal species, and the timing of natural phenomena. For example:

  • Acadia’s average annual precipitation increased by roughly 6 inches over the past 100 years and the park is experiencing more frequent summertime droughts, intense fall rainstorms, and warmer winter temperatures that result in less snowpack and spring runoff.
  • Acadia’s average annual temperature increased by 3.4°F over the past 100 years, resulting in warmer summer temperatures, longer growing and tourism seasons, and damage to park cultural resources from more frequent cycles of freezing and thawing.
  • Acadia’s forest composition will likely shift away from drought-intolerant spruce/fir forests to hardwood forests more commonly found to the south.
  • Forest pests, such as the hemlock wooly adelgid and ticks, may become more prevalent and have a greater impact on wildlife and plants that are already stressed by the changing climate.
  • Visitation to Acadia may increase by 40% or more by 2060 as warmer weather lengthens Acadia’s visitation season, and extreme heat in other areas of the country drives people to Acadia.

Using Science to Protect Acadia

Science continues to guide our relationships with Acadia’s landscapes and shorelines. Studying the past, while
monitoring current change, helps us prepare for the future.

Acadia National Park, Friends of Acadia, and Schoodic Institute have produced an introductory brochure
highlighting specific examples of key environmental research in Acadia and how the partners are working together to address climate change.

Review the online brochure to learn more, including how you can help.