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New Hampshire had an unusually warm October, as climate change contributes to seasonal shifts

Logan Shannon

October was abnormally warm across the northeast, according to data from the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

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Concord’s average October temperature was 54.8 degrees, five and a half degrees above normal levels, according to data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Winters in New Hampshire are warming faster than summers are, according to Mary Stampone, New Hampshire’s state climatologist.

The first freeze is coming about a week later than it used to, she says, as the region follows global patterns of climate change. This means that our growing season is getting longer — good news for some who hope to get more time to grow crops.

But without the cold killing ticks and mosquitos, a lengthening growing season could also cause problems, Stampone said. It means a longer growing season for pests and weeds.

“[It] also provides a longer season that’s a little more inviting to invasive species, species that wouldn’t have been able to survive here prior, because we were too cold,” she said.

Longer growing seasons that provide better environments for pests and pollen could lead to public health problems, like vector-borne diseases and worsening allergies.

New Hampshire Fish and Game says invasive species are likely to expand northward into New Hampshire as a result of climate change.

Above-normal regional temperatures are also expected for November.

Mara Hoplamazian reports on climate change, energy, and the environment for NHPR.
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