How climate change is affecting the Great Lakes

In areas from rainfall to lake levels, fish to algal blooms, shipping to agriculture, drinking water quality to public health, “Climate change is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes region.”

That’s according to the science-based Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakesreleased last week by the nonprofit Environmental Law & Policy Center, based in Chicago, and the nonprofit Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

2 CFAES scientists among authors

“Scientific analyses clearly show that climate change has already greatly affected the region and that these impacts will continue and expand as the pace of climate change accelerates,” the report’s executive summary says. “It is critical that we recognize the importance of one of the world’s most abundant freshwater resources and ensure its protection for generations to come.”

Some 18 Midwest and Canadian researchers authored the report, including CFAES’ Brent Sohngen and Robyn WilsonSohngen is a professor of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Wilson is an associate professor of risk analysis and decision science with the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read the report

Download the full report (74 pages). Read the executive summary. (Photo: Storm waves, Lake Michigan, Justin Selden, Michigan Sea Grant.)

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