Great Lakes Climate Global Warming Presentation

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A presentation regarding global warming and the impact on the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy. This was initially delivered at the press conference to announce the HOW Coalition's release of the Great Lakes Global Warming Report. Check out for more detail.


  • 1. Confrontingg Climate Change in the GreatLakes Regionk i 3rd Annual Great Lakes ConferenceHealing our Waters Great Lakes Coalition Chicago, IL September 6, 2007 Don Scavia University of MichiganSchool of Natural Resources and Environment Michigan Sea Grant

2. Todays OutlineToday s Clit il Climate is already changing d h i and interacting with other stresses g We are seeing impacts our region expect more Are we preparing for them? (setting aside emission controls for today) 3. The Big Picture 4. Measured global surface temperature since 1880 Green bars show 95% G b h confidence intervals J. Hansen et al. 2006) 5. Models and Observation agree:the planet is warming 6. Models match observed T on all co t e ts continents IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM, 2007 7. Human Influences on Climate: 3 Key Greenhouse Gasesey G ee ouseIPCC 2001,Summary for Policy Makers 8. Increasing Confidence IPCC 1990: The observed increase [in temperatures] couldb l l d t t li bilitltti l thibe largely due to natural variability; alternatively thisvariability and other man-made factors could have offseta still larger man-made greenhouse warming.IPCC 1995: The balance of evidence suggests a discerniblehuman influence on global climate.IPCC 2001: There is new and stronger evidence that mostof the warming observed over the last 50 years is due tohuman activities.IPCC 2007: Most of the observed increase in globaltemperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely(90%) due to the observed increase in anthropogenicgreenhouse gas concentrations. 9. The Globe is Warming g What about the GreatLakes Region? 10. Great Lakes RegionTemps are rising, especially in winterWinters are shorterSpring comes earlierp gShorter duration of ice coverExtreme rainfall events more frequent 11. Changes in Plant Hardiness Zones US: 1990 - 2006 12. Changes in Plant Hardiness Zones Great Lakes: 1990 - 2006 1990 2006-40 to-30 F-40 to -30 F-30 to -20 F -30 to -20 F 30 20-20 to -10 F -20 to -10 F -5 to -10 FAverage Minimum Temperatures 13. Great Lakes Growing Seasons 14. 1 Nov Lakes and Rivers are 1D DecFreezing later, andThawing1 Jan Freeze Earlier1 Feb 1 Mar 1 Apr Breakup 1 May 1 Jun1840 1880 1920 1960 2000 Modified from Magnuson et al. 2000 15. 1 NovGrand Traverse Bay Winter Freeze1D Decand BreakupDates 1 Jan Freeze 1 Feb 1 Mar 1 Apr Breakup 1 May 1 Jun Modified from1840 1880 1920 1960 2000 Magnuson et al. 2000 16. C erThe Big Lakes too!Lake Lake ent Ice CoveHuron Ontario1972 2007 1972 2007 I LakeLake ErieMichigan Perce P1972 2007 19722007 17. More frequent extreme RAIN 18. Where are we Whheading?Global Scale 19. T changes for 2x CO2 Computer simulations of expected warming T changes for 4x CO2 Business as Usual is heading us to a 4X CO2 world 20. Predicted Global Temperatures 7.2F 3.2F IPCC 2007 21. Where are we Whheading?Great Lakes Region 22. Projected Climate Changes in the Great Lakes Region by 2100TemperatureGenerally Warmer (esp. in winter)Extreme heat more commonGrowing season several weeks longerIce cover decline will continuePrecipitationWinter, spring increasingWi t i iiSummer, fall decreasingDrier soils, more droughtsi ild hMore extreme events 23. Climate Warming will Impact the Future Weather we Feel 24. Forecast Great Lakes Growing Seasons 25. Projected Great Lakes PrecipitationChanges2X heavy rain eventsSeasonal shifts:More rain winter/spring Less rain summer/fall 26. Projected ImpactsGreat Lakes Region 27. The Changing Character of Great Lakes Lakes Streams & Fish Lakes, Streams, Cold-water fish will decline, cool- & warm-water species move northh Ecosystem disruptions compounded by invasions of non-native species Summer lake stratification will increase more deadincrease, dead- zones and fish kills 28. Dead Zones & Fish Kills will increaseIts b k back! in shallower regions. i ?? 29. The Changing Character of GreatLakes Forests & Wildlife Boreal forests likely to disappearShort-term forest productivity could increaseHigher ozone, droughts, fires, insects could damage long-term forest healthBirds breed more and earlier Raccoons, skunks, andmay benefit Moose likely to suffer 30. Northern Todaymovement ofB ltiBaltimoreOriole habitat 2X CO2 31. The Changing Character of Great Lakes Recreation & Tourism Significant impacts on multi-billion $ industrylti billii d t Millions of anglers affected by fish impacts Bird-watchers and hunters affected Summer season expanded, but more extreme heatheat, heavy downpours Winter recreation hard hit 32. Winter is a part of our Sense of Place. We are losing Winter as we once knew it. John Magnuson 33. Climate Change Impacts WillNot OOccur in a Vacuum Population is growing Urbanization and sprawl Social challengesPollution of air & waterLandscape fragmentation 34. The Changing Character of Great Lakes Wetlands & Shorebirds Earlier spring runoff, flooding, lower water levels tough on wetland species Lower flood-absorbing capacity Fewer breeding sites for amphibiansamphibians, shorebirds and waterfowl Shrinking wetland h bit t drying of Sh i kitl d habitat, d if prairie potholes 35. Changing water levels AND regulation Strong regulation Natural fluctuation 36. Exacerbation of Existing ProblemsWater Resources Reduced groundwater recharge, small streams likely to dry upLake levels expected to declinePressure to increase water extraction from the Great Lakes 37. Why are lake levels so low? Precipitation is normal! 38. Warmer Winters/Less Ice: p More Evaporationovercent Ice Co PercI 19722007 39. Future Lake Michigan Levels+1.0m) Annual Mean Water Level (m +1.3 ft L0.0 Model W Range R-1.0 2090 = Lofgren et al. 2002- 4.6 ft A -2.01900 195020002090 = Lofgren et al. 40. Exacerbation of Existing ProblemsProperty & InfrastructurePtI f t t More frequent extreme storms and floods - greater property damage - bu de on emergency a age e t burden o e e ge cy management - increased clean-up and rebuilding - financial toll on businesses and homeowners Lower lake levels - shipping-related adjustments - more dredging needed 41. Exacerbation of Existing Problems Human H lth H Health Cold-related health problemsp decline, while heat-related mortality will increase> 90oFExtreme heat more likely>40 days >90F >90> 97oF>25 days >97F Waterborne and other infectiousdiseases may become morefrequent or widespread 42. Summer Heat-Related Mortality for Current, 2020, and 2050 ClimateCurrent20202502050250 200150200150 100 50100 500 0 Montreal Source: WHO, 1996Toronto Note: Does not include winter mortality. GFDL Climate Assumes no acclimatization to changed climate. Does not account for population growth.Change Scenario 43. Worst Impacts Are Not InevitableNo-regrets solutions available nowA three-pronged approach: Reduce our emissionsMinimize other pressures on the environmentPlan and prepare to manage impacts 44. Minimizing OTHER Pressureson O EnvironmentOur E i Air Quality Improvements Water Resource Protection Habitat Protection Urban and Land Use Planning 45. Prescription for Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection and Restoration Avoiding the Tipping Point of Irreversible Changes Interacting stresses matterNutrientLoading Were approaching a tipping point Over fishing O es g Toxic ClimateClit Chemicals Chi l changeClimate Change!g We know enough to act nowLand UseRestore HydrologicResiliency! R ili ! Alterations Invasive Species 46. Take HomeMessages: Climate change is changing the character of the Great Lakes region Climate change will continue to magnifygg y existing health and environmental problems Common sense solutions/adaptations are available now -- IF WE PREPARE FOR THEM 47. Managing Climate ImpactsBut, are we Emergency Preparednesspreparing? Agricultural and ForestryAdaptations Governments? Public Health Improvements Industries? Infrastructure Adjustments Citizens? Education 48. Confrontingg Climate Change in the GreatLakes Regionk iAre we prepared? Are we preparing?