The Climate Science Whitepaper is one of two whitepapers developed by the NSF-CCEP-I award (award # 1237595) entitled Great Lakes Climate Change Science and Education Systemic Network (GLCCSESN).
The partners include University of Wisconsin – Madison, NOAAs Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Ashland University, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, and the College of Exploration.
Residents of the Great Lakes region will experience global climate change as shifts in the averages, extremity, and timing of local temperature and precipitation. These changes could have substantial impacts on the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater, distributions of wildlife and plant species, the productivity of agriculture and other economic activities, the integrity of built environments, and human health and well-being.
Scientists from various disciplines have documented how climate in the Great Lakes region has changed in recent decades, modeled potential future climates, and estimated future impacts. In this paper, we review scholarly literature, published primarily over the past decade, which provides insights into current climate trends, projections for the future, and potential impacts of climate change in the region. This review builds upon well-known past assessments of climate effects in the region, including those produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists (Kling et al., 2003; Wuebbles, 2006) and U.S. Global Change Research Program (Karl et al., 2009; Sousounis and Bisanz, 2000).