Posted on January 19, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Climate change stresses likely to cut agricultural output from the nation’s breadbasket
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Midwest could be among the regions hit hardest by climate change, according to a trio of University of Michigan researchers who authored sections of the recent national climate assessment.
The region is likely to face frequent and more intense heat waves, water quality degradation and public health threats, with increasing risks to Great Lakes ecosystems.
“Climate change impacts in the Midwest are expected to be as diverse as the landscape itself. Impacts are already being felt in the forests, in agriculture, in the Great Lakes and in our urban centers,” said University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute and special counsel to the U-M president on sustainability issues.
In the Midwest, extreme rainfall events and floods have become more common over the last century, and those trends are expected to continue, causing erosion, declining water quality and negative impacts on transportation, agriculture, human health and infrastructure, according to the report, which is open for public comment. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, global warming, Uncategorized | Tagged: agriculture, drought, global warming, Great Lakes, Midwest, national climate assessment | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Rains, flooding threaten water infrastructure
Climate researchers say they’ve documented an increasing number of severe storms in the Midwest most likely linked with global warming.
SUMMIT COUNTY — A startling increase in severe storms is straining water infrastructure and threatening public health and safety, according to a report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The number of those big storms has doubled in the last 50 years, with greatest increase in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.
“Global studies already show that human-caused climate change is driving more extreme precipitation, and now we’ve documented how great the increase has been in the Midwest and linked the extreme storms to flooding in the region,” said Rocky Mountain Climate Organization president Stephen Saunders,” suggesting that it might not be accurate to simply characterize the storms as natural disasters. “And if emissions keep going up, the forecast is for more extreme storms in the region,” he said. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, flooding, global warming | Tagged: climate, extreme weather, flooding, global warming, Midwest, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization | Leave a Comment »