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Report: Great Lakes feeling effects of rapid climate warming

By JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., a trend likely to bring more extreme storms while also degrading water quality, worsening erosion and bring hardships to farmers, scientists reported Thursday.

The annual mean air temperature in the region, which includes portions of the U.S. Midwest , Northeast and southern Canada, rose 1.6 degrees from 1901-60 to 1985-2016, according to the report, which was commissioned by the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center. During the same periods, the mean temperature for the remainder of the contiguous U.S. rose 1.2 degrees.

The warming is expected to continue this century. How much temperatures rise will depend largely on the amount of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that humans pump into the atmosphere. As the air warms, it will hold more moisture, which most likely will mean heavier winter snowstorms and spring rains — with more flooding in vulnerable areas. Yet summers will be hotter and drier.

“Over the last two centuries, the Great Lakes have been significantly impacted by human activity, and climate change is now adding more challenges and another layer of stress,” said Don Weubbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois and former assistant director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Obama administration. “This report paints a stark picture of changes in store for the lake as a result of our changing climate.”

Agriculture will be hit especially hard, said the report, which was produced by 18 scientists, most from Midwestern universities as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Wetter springs will cause delays in planting, while crops will be more stressed with less water and more heat during summer. The report predicts yield decreases of 10-30 percent for corn and soybeans by the end of the 21st century.

Heavier storms also will boost the danger of erosion for beaches, dunes and shorelines, it said.

Harmful algae blooms are likely to become more numerous and severe as water temperatures warm, and bacteria levels that make waters dangerous for swimming should continue to rise.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2 comments

  1. Can this article be any vaguer than the pseudonym I am using? “a group of Scientists” made “a report” about a 1.4 degree temperature difference in a 100 year cycle on a how old is the planet again? What happened between 1960 and 1985? Did we loose that data? Or too hard to misrepresent? Or maybe it throws off the low temperature of the previous average then and makes the temperature change insignificant? I seem to remember the temperature hysteria in the 70’s was we were all going to freeze to death.
    MAYBE there will be more storms and erosion and flooding and algae and we wont have any food and blah, blah, blah.

    Guessing Don Weubbles called his ol buddy JOHN FLESHER and said Brah, I got a yarn for ya. Wanna hit this?

    Is this article from the Onion?

    Come on Daily Reporter. Just because it comes from the AP does not mean it is a good article. Maybe do a little critical thinking before you repost. You should probably try to get your money back.

  2. Hmm. Wonder why it compares the 1901-60 period to the 1985-2016 period. Did we record temperatures in the 1960-85 period…anyone, anyone, Buehler??

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