Birkel interviewed for Press Herald article on spring rainfall

Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about changes in spring rainfall. The article also mentioned Glen Koehler, a fruit tree specialist with the UMaine Cooperative Extension. This year marked the third May in a row with very little rainfall — Portland received 0.79 of an inch of precipitation compared to the average of 3.88 inches, the article states. But Birkel’s research, despite the past few dry springs, suggests a different trend. “What has been documented over the past 10 to 15 years is an increase in the number of severe rainfall events,” said Birkel, with more dry spells between them. Birkel was a co-author of a 2009 report, “Maine’s Climate Future,” that showed a 13 percent increase in Maine’s rainfall since 1895. The article also mentioned Koehler’s talk at the Maine Agricultural Show in Augusta, where he said the Northeast was predicted to have an increase in rain and discussed strategies for farmers to adapt to climate change.