A Minnesota Look at Global Warming

A Minnesota Look at Global Warming

by Craig Minowa, Coordinator for the Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education

According to a report recently released from the U.S. Global Climate Change Program, Minnesota has the most notable temperature increase in the Midwest. The report evaluated global warming’s impact on 20 geographical areas and was a combined effort of 250 scientists. The report also showed that precipitation has increased by 20% in some areas of Minnesota.

The scientists created 12 potential climate models to cover all possible variables and to make a variety of climate change predictions for the next century. Eleven of those models predicted significant water level drops for Lake Superior. The report also mentions a possible increase in “national and international tension related to increased pressure for water diversions from the Great Lakes as demands for water increase.” An overview of the document can be found online at www.gcrio.org/.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also released some information to the public about global climate change and its impact on Minnesota. (http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/impacts/stateimp/minnesota/index.html). They also say we have some other fun things to look forward to in Minnesota. Namely, an increase in our mosquito population, a possible decline of forested areas by 50-70% (replaced by grasslands, which thrive in warmer weather), corn yields decline up to 34%, and a drop in surface water levels. Specific to this area, the report says, “Reduced fresh water in the Great Lakes could negatively affect shipping to and from Duluth, for example, primarily because of lower water levels in the shipping channels connecting the lower Great Lakes.”

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.