Impacts of Climate Change

collapse Topic : Causes of Climate Change ‎(2)
Cyclical and Natural Changes
Human-Caused Changes
collapse Topic : Climate System ‎(12)
Atmospheric Circulation
Atmospheric Composition
Carbon Cycle
Climate Compared to Weather
Climate Feedbacks
Global Energy Balance
Greenhouse Effect
Ocean and Climate
Orbital Cycles
Regional Climates
Solar Radiation
Water Cycle
collapse Topic : Human Responses to Climate Change ‎(3)
Personal Responsibility
Risk Management
Social Values
collapse Topic : Impacts of Climate Change ‎(13)
Agricultural Changes
Economic Impacts
Ecosystem Changes
Extreme Weather
Freshwater Resources
Great Lakes Impacts
Melting Ice and Permafrost
Ocean Warming and Acidification
Plants and Animals
Public Health
Sea Level Rise
Surface Temperature Warming
collapse Topic : Measuring and Modeling Climate ‎(2)
Climate Modeling
Gathering and Measuring Climate Data

Great Lakes Impacts   

Climate change will have local impacts here in the Great Lakes region.

  • A changing climate will have both positive and negative impacts.  Too much or too little precipitation, too much heat, or too many freeze-thaw cycles may become more common in weather patterns.  Certain regions of the state, ecosystems or economic activities will be more vulnerable to these types of changes, while others will be more resilient.  Assessing the possible winners and losers is a complex and potentially controversial process. (

  • Models predict that by the end of the century the Great Lakes region will experience temperature increases of 5-10oF rise in the winter and  8-17oF rise in the summer

  • Although average annual precipitation may not change much, an overall drier climate is expected because rainfall cannot compensate for the increase in evaporation resulting from greater temperatures. Seasonally, winter precipitation is expected to increase by as much as 25% and summer precipitation is expected to decrease as much as 20%. Thus we may see drier soils and more summer droughts.

  • Extreme heat will be more common, and the frequency of heavy rainstorms will increase. These increases could be 50-100% higher than today.

  • The growing season could be 4-7 weeks longer.

  • Declines in ice cover on the Great Lakes and inland lakes have been recorded over the past 100-150 years and are expected to continue. (