The old paradigm: There would be large drops in lake levels from evaporation. How all of this will affect lake levels is unclear. By continuing, you accept our use of cookies. A key finding: The region has warmed more than the country as a whole. The Great Lakes hold about one-fifth of the world's surface fresh water. But scientists hoping to communicate the consequences have to … They’re the most dangerous invention the world has ever seen. Great Lakes are rapidly warming, likely to trigger more flooding and extreme weather Report also predicts more severe algae blooms will increase water treatment costs. Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes (2003). Call for investments in public health and human security, not nuclear weapons. 3. But in the Great Lakes states, precipitation rose nearly 10 percent, with more of it coming from large storms. The report foresees a … For fans of the third dish, however, there could be trouble ahead: As climate change intensifies, some scientists fear for the future of the North American maple syrup industry. So, for the next four years, we’ll hold the incoming administration accountable, just like we did under all the presidents dating back to our founding more than 50 years ago. Our transportation system is outdated and broken—and it needs to change. The Great Lakes can unify our region only if every community has an opportunity to be part of the clean water conversation. A new report released Thursday by a team of Midwestern researchers suggests extreme bouts of precipitation and flooding could be the new normal in the Great Lakes region due to climate change. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and the Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans, to push for more solar and wind development, improve energy efficiency, accelerate electric cars and reduce runoff that pollutes the lakes and their tributaries. Temperature changes will differ within the region. “Climate change is now adding more challenges and another layer of stress,” Wuebbles said in a statement. Grappling with climate change requires transforming how we power our economy, and no sector requires more fundamental change than transportation, which accounts for the largest share of US global warming pollution. Prepare and plan to manage the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Can we prevent them from being used again? From 1973 to 2010, annual average ice coverage on the Great Lakes declined by 71%. Snow, climate change and land use change could therefore result Ice Cover and Lake Temperature Lake temperatures have been increasing faster than surrounding air temperatures. Public transit needs support from Congress now. Beaches, dunes and shorelines will experience more erosion from heavier rainfall, the report predicted. It was written in a readily accessible style for the general public, state and national policymakers, and business leaders. The findings are an amalgamation of climate-related research and its impacts on the Great Lakes. Solar geoengineering technologies cool the earth by reflecting sunlight back into space—but they pose many risks, challenges, and uncertainties. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. A scientific report says the Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., which likely will bring more flooding and other extreme weather events such as heat waves and drought. In a sign that water issues are a growing concern in the state, Evers' two-year budget includes more money and attention to limit runoff pollution. These findings echo a federal report released in November that found climate change will reduce agricultural production in the Midwest to levels seen in the 1980s. Fortunately, there are solutions that can benefit both farmers and fishers. As one of eleven NOAA-funded regional centers, GLISA builds capacity to manage risks from climate change and variability in the Great Lakes region. The US food system should be providing healthy, sustainable food for everyone. 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge MA 02138, USA, Infographic: Wildfires and Climate Change, Building Equitable, Clean, and Climate-Safe Infrastructure. Msg & data rates may apply. The Great Lakes region is warming... Warming climate. "What we are seeing with climate change now in the Great Lakes region is more rocking and rolling in water levels — higher highs and lower lows and a … Take action to prioritize science-based election reforms. Urge Congress to pass a budget that prioritizes people and our planet. Nationally, from 1901 to 2015, annual precipitation rose 4 percent. Municipal water systems might also face higher costs in removing the nutrients, the study found. Sign up or text "SCIENCE" to 662266. “This report paints a stark picture of changes in store for the lakes as a result of our changing climate.”. “As I read through (the report), it’s a comprehensive assessment of impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes, not only on the lakes themselves but to a certain extent on regions around the lake as well,” said Daniel J. Vimont, a climate scientist at UW-Madison, whose work is included in the report. As climate change brings more extremes and our pipes continue to age, we can’t just wait for federal dollars. Don Wuebbles, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois and the lead author of the report, said the Great Lakes have faced significant impacts over the past 200 years. Lake Superior Climate Change Impacts Report, January 2014. An array of Global Circulation Models (GCMs) has been created over the last decade, all differing in assumptions, scale and structure to predict global climate change. More recent research has shown smaller drops on average and the possibility that there could be a small rise in lake levels through the end of the century. US electricity infrastructure is aging, inadequate, and vulnerable. On average, the Great Lakes regions are projected to see slightly higher increases in the summer than in the winter. We're arming the new administration with facts, evidence, and science. The Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments Center is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Between 1901-1960 and 1985-2016, the Great Lakes basin has warmed 1.6°F in annual Dr. Rebecca Boehm explains how excess fertilizer on Midwest farms contributes to “dead zones” in the Gulf, and how to reverse course. The warming climate also could mean less overall snowfall even as lake-effect snowstorms get bigger. (617) 547-5552. The report’s findings are separate from the policy recommendations. A REPORT OF The Union of Concerned Scientists and The Ecological Society of America Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems Lake Michigan Lake St. Joseph Plains Nipigon Plains Thunder Bay Plains Superior Highlands Matagami Chapleau Climate change is one of the most devastating problems humanity has ever faced—and the clock is running out. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Climate change is eroding shorelines, altering ecosystems, and causing flooding and economic damage along the Great Lakes. The energy choices we make today could make or break our ability to fight climate change. Terms and conditions. Minimize the pressure on the environment, thus reducing the vulnerability to the impact of climate change. Solar and wind development are growing in Wisconsin, driven largely by falling prices. Water level and water temperature are two important and interrelated indicators of weather and climate change in the Great Lakes. 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge MA 02138, USA The Great Lakes — already feeling the impacts of climate change — face more threats in the coming decades, ranging from increased flooding and higher temperatures to deteriorating water quality and fluctuating lake levels. This could mean disruptions for agriculture, which is already seeing a shift north in the Corn Belt, due in part to warmer temperatures. Forest firefighter and conservation biologist Jon Trapp talks about analyzing wildfires, close calls with endangered wolves, and the urgency of global warming. It follows other studies, including the federal government’s national climate assessment released last fall, showing how global warming is already affecting the United States. No matter who sits in the White House, we’ve seen all too clearly how political interference with science can have life-threatening consequences. The section on North America starts on page 887; it was published in 2007, so it’s fairly up-to-date. Reduce the risk of climate change by reducing emissions. But lawmakers in recent years have been wary of efforts calling for a larger hand by state government. Climate change is fueling extreme water levels in the Great Lakes — and scientists are predicting “higher highs and lower lows.” By Tony Briscoe Jan 9, 2020 This Great Lakes Fishery Commission completion report goes a step further than the Nature Communications publication (link above) by describing more intimiate details of the experiment as well as future climate modeling in light of the relationship between winter duration and yellow perch reproductive success. The frequency and intensity of storms in the Great Lakes region have already increased, and will continue to do so as the effects of climate change become more pronounced, reports NOAA. The report noted that scientists' projections on lake levels have “undergone a major change of course” in recent years. The report projects precipitation patterns will change, with wetter winters and springs, and by 2100, summer precipitation should decrease by 5 percent to 15 percent for most of Great Lake states. Why isn’t it? Help protect workers from dangerous heat. Here's how. Climate change is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes region. This report, from 18 leading scientists and experts from Midwest and Canadian universities and research institutions, draws on the array of existing research to assess how the shifting global climate impacts the unique Great Lakes region. We use cookies to improve your experience. An outcome of rising temperatures is that a warmer atmosphere contains more moisture, which the report said would increase the frequency and intensity of heavy rains and snow. In Wisconsin, it says it will provide the information to Gov. This report examined the potential impacts of climate change upon the various ecosystems of this diverse and rich region. Learn more. > neds for effective climate change adaptation in the e Great Lakes region. In December 2015, a “State of Climate Change Science in the Great Lakes Basin: A Focus on Climatological, Hydrologic and Ecological Effects” report was released, which synthesizes the state of climate change impacts in the Great Lakes Basin. But these seasonal changes are expected to be reversed in the northern Great Lakes, where winter temperatures will rise more than summer's. Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems was a comprehensive report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Ecological Society of America, and written by leading university and government scientists in the Great Lakes region.This report examined the potential impacts of climate change upon the various … No purchase necessary. All rights reserved. A report released Thursday, largely from scientists at Midwestern universities including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, highlights current and future effects of climate change on the Great Lakes. Water level (the height of the lake surface above sea level) is influenced by many factors, including precipitation, snowmelt runoff, drought, evaporation rates, and people withdrawing water for multiple uses. © Union of Concerned Scientists Tony Evers to join group committed to cutting greenhouse gases, implementing Paris accord, RELATED:Oil and Water: Pipeline Pressure Builds in the Great Lakes. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.. Lake Superior Climate Change Impacts Report (PDF) (139 pp, 4 MB, January 2014) The Environmental Policy & Law Center report found climate change threatens the Great Lakes' water quality in other ways. The region is already warming faster than the rest of the country. Climate change is fueling wildfires. A blog on science, politics, and activism. Canada tops the list of 60 nations that produce and export syrup—accounting for 82.5% of global production during 2019, according to World’s Top Exports. “There is a lot more uncertainty around that initial projection,” UW's Vimont said. The influx of nutrients and higher water temperatures could lead to more algal blooms, such as those in Green Bay where scientists are tracking a seasonal "dead zone" where there is virtually no oxygen. Climate change impacts are being observed in the Great Lakes basin. > Climate change adaptation actions specific to the Great Lakes region. Text "SCIENCE" to 662266 or sign up online. You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. From 1975 to 2004, the annual number of days with land Scientists predict the impacts will affect the ecology of the lakes, stress water infrastructure systems and pose problems for recreation. Output from some of these global models has been “down-scaled” or regionalized to help predict future Great Lakes climate conditions. Wisconsin state lands agency eliminates ban on climate change advocacy, Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, Agencies ask Wisconsin lawmakers to approve measures in Tony Evers' budget to clean up drinking water, Wisconsin Gov. There are numerous efforts underway to refine predictions of future climate conditions and to predict impacts on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. Some of these findings include research from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts at UW-Madison. A team of Midwestern climate scientists has released a new report with grim predictions about the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes region. Tony Evers to join group committed to cutting greenhouse gases, implementing Paris accord, Oil and Water: Pipeline Pressure Builds in the Great Lakes, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. We need to grow a resilient food system from the ground up. Climate change presents challenges to the Great Lakes, with complicated effects and inter-relationships. Further, a great resource on climate change is Chapter 11 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group 1 contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report. And the report says the Great Lakes Region is smack-dab in the center of some of the most damaging impacts from climate change. The report projects precipitation patterns will change, with wetter winters and springs, and by 2100, summer precipitation should decrease by 5 percent to 15 percent for most of Great Lake states. The US continues to keep intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert—creating the risk of a mistaken nuclear war in response to a false warning. The August report, An Evaluation of Stressor Interactions in the Great Lakes, examines seven problems plaguing the Great Lakes — fish harvest, habitat loss, nutrients, pathogens, climate change, invasive species and toxic chemicals — to learn how they interact with one another to affect the lakes’ health. Climate change is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes region. Each year, nitrogen runoff from Midwestern farms produces a large "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, damaging fisheries and the people who make their living from them. Meanwhile, a legislative task force held its first hearing Wednesday in Madison on water quality issues. Between 1901-1960 and 1985-2016, the temperature of the Great Lakes basin increased 1.6 degrees in annual mean temperature compared to a 1.2-degree increase for the rest of the continental U.S. By the end of the century, global average temperatures are projected to rise by 2.7 degrees to 7.2 degrees, depending on how much greenhouse gas emissions are produced. The report was designed to raise awareness of climate change and broaden understanding of its potential impacts and solutions. Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems was a comprehensive report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Ecological Society of America, and written by leading university and government scientists in the Great Lakes region. The report was commissioned by the Environmental Law & Policy Center of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs — and thus has a political context. © 2020 www.jsonline.com. Further detail on this work is contained in this section of t… The center says that it will use the findings to highlight climate impacts on the region. In recent years, our planet has experienced, some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded, record-breaking weather extremes, powerful storms, increasing tragic flooding from rising sea levels and associated storm surge, huge wildfires, and continued melting of glaciers and polar sea ice. And we can’t allow communities with the least money to invest to be bypassed or overburdened. More precipitation could also spur increased runoff, sending more nutrients and bacteria into the lakes. 2. The Union of Concerned Scientists is actively monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and its implications for scientific integrity. This could increase demand for irrigation, which could tax groundwater supplies, the report said. Text STOP to opt out. Wetter springs could delay planting and put crops at risk in hotter and drier conditions later in the season. This is especially true for the Great Lakes states. The northern Great Lakes states could see a month or so fewer days where the temperature does not get above freezing. Some of the most evident impacts include warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, decreased ice coverage and lower than average water levels. Clean energy investments can help. RELATED:Agencies ask Wisconsin lawmakers to approve measures in Tony Evers' budget to clean up drinking water, RELATED:Wisconsin Gov. Air Temperature Increases The Great Lakes region has tracked global increases in temperature and outpaced trends in some parts of the contiguous United States. The report estimates climate change could reduce crop yields for corn and soybeans up to 30 percent in the southern parts of the Great Lakes region like Illinois and Indiana. > Ways that ecological restoration efforts as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative or other federal funding programs can be improved to integrate current and future climate change impacts. A new report commissioned by the Environmental Law and Policy Center urges Great Lakes states to mitigate and prepare for the "profound" effects of climate change. The election is over, but the crises are all still here. The authors said the Great Lakes will experience corresponding changes. RELATED:Wisconsin state lands agency eliminates ban on climate change advocacy. 1. Democracy and science can be powerful partners for the public good—and both are under attack. Report says the Great Lakes, where winter temperatures will rise more than 's... 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