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Book sparks local climate change discussion

WHALLONSBURG - Hundreds packed the Whallonsburg Grange Hall Sept. 24, to hear some of the latest research regarding climate change and how it could impact the Adirondack region.

The main speaker, Jerry Jenkins, is the author of several books about the Adirondack landscape and the environmental issues that threaten its fragile ecology.

His latest book, "Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability," takes a close look at the local effects of global climate change that are expected to occur as carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere.

The presentation and discussion was sponsored by the Adirondack Council, Champlain Valley Conservation Partnership and the Wildlife Conservation Society, the organization through which Jenkins does much of his research.

"I think the goal tonight was to increase awareness about what people can do to affect change on an individual basis," said Chris Maron, executive director of CVCP, "and also to listen to people and start a discussion about some of the challenges they face in trying to make improvements in their life in that way."

Jenkins summarized his book and some of its many diagrams and charts to highlight the unique ecosystem found in the Adirondacks and a few of the many species of birds and other animals that rely on the moderate conditions and the blend of forests and wetlands.

"Our landscape is a very strange mosaic of north and south," said Jenkins. "It is the farthest south in North America where you find this type of landscape."

According to Jenkins, there are a few different scenarios climate scientists predict could take place during the next 200 years depending on how much the world can reduce its carbon emissions.

"If their estimates are right, having the Adirondacks that we have now in this century 150-200 years from now is not on the table," Jenkins said.

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