5/9/14

Climate report predicts more weather extremes

Higher temperatures, extreme rainstorms, loss of wildlife, and a drop in Lake Michigan water levels. This is what the Midwest can expect in the coming decades according to the latest review of climate change trends.

Released on Tuesday, the 2014 National Climate Assessment provides an in-depth look at the expected impacts of climate change across the country. The report also investigates how businesses, agriculture, infrastructure, natural resources, and public health will be affected if current trends continue.

Midwesterners have likely noticed a few of the projected changes already. Summers are longer and warmer, winters are wetter, and flooding is increasing. But some of the long-term impacts might not be as apparent. For example, higher water temperatures could drive out fish species and make it easier for non-native species to invade new habitats. Stronger rainstorms, especially in cities, will also mean more runoff that pollutes waterways and erodes shorelines and river banks. 

Read more about these and other regional impacts in the report. And visit our climate change page for information on what communities and individuals can do to mitigate and prepare for the changing climate. 

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