Climate change could profoundly alter the weather, animal life and even the very shape of Maryland over the next century, making heat waves deadlier and leaving one corner of the Eastern Shore under water, a state-appointed commission said yesterday.

To head this off, the state must eliminate most of the greenhouse gases coming from tailpipes and smokestacks, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change said in a report. That will be a tall order because Maryland’s emissions are on the rise.

In Richmond yesterday, environmentalists were pressing a Virginia climate-change panel to recommend emissions cutbacks.

The states are in similar positions: Both are starting to gauge the threat from rising temperatures and making response plans.

Maryland and Virginia are struggling with a problem whose worst effects will be in the future and with solutions that seem to require enormous changes implemented over decades.

“It’s sort of the transformation from, ‘We’ve got a problem,’ ” said Shari T. Wilson, Maryland secretary of the environment. “We’re shifting to, ‘Here’s the good news,’ ” she said, which is that solutions are available.

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